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bribery and Kickback schemes

Denition: Giving or receiving a thing of value for the sole purpose of inuencing an ocial act or a business decision.


  • An overly friendly relationship between government employees and recipients/vendors

and/or among recipients/vendors who may otherwise be considered competitors.

  • Excessive, new-found wealth may also be a clue that a bribe or kickback has been accepted.

  • Grants or contracting employee has an undisclosed business.

fraud case studies

public employee and others sentenced in Kickback case

A public employee, his company, and two businessmen were sentenced in federal court in California. The public employee was sentenced to 9 months home detention, 24 months of probation, 500 hours of community service, and fined $40,000. His company was sentenced to 36 months probation and ordered to pay a $150,000 fine. The two businessmen collectively were sentenced to 36 months of probation, 500 hours of community service, and fined $15,000. These sentences followed guilty pleas to various charges including mail fraud and theft from programs receiving federal funds.

For approximately 9 years, the employee was employed by a public entity that was responsible for a number of public works projects including an EPA financed pipeline. As an employee, he was precluded from obtaining public contracts. He devised a scheme whereby he would be able to secretly obtain surveying contracts with the pubic entity despite his employment with that government agency.

He used his position to assist the other businessman in obtaining surveying jobs with the public entity, first by recommending to his supervisors that work be granted and later personally granting them work. In exchange for the work, the businessman paid an amount of the money earned to the public employee’s company. The public employee also entered into an agreement with the other businessman whereby his company would be awarded contracts by the public entity.

The public employee concealed the income he received on government projects from the government and the EPA by filing false Statements of Economic Interest with the County Clerk in spite of his duty as a government employee to provide full disclosure. His company received over $1,100,000 in gross receipts from the government.

This case was worked jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office.

when good money goes bad • true stories of grant fraud at epa

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