Thursday, April 22, 2010

Federal Employee Pleads Guilty to Contracting Fraud

A former contracting officer for the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Medford, Oregon pleaded guilty on April 16, 2010, for his role in a contracting scandal in which he cheated the BLM out of almost $500,000 over a four year period.  He was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2009.

Luis Ramirez arranged to have BLM contractors subcontract work to his son who, in some cases didn't perform the work at all, or when the work was performed, it was redundant to work performed by others.  In some cases, Ramirez directed the BLM contractors to issue the checks directly to his son or through third parties, and the contractors were then reimbursed through invoices approved by Ramirez as a BLM contracting officer.  In other cases the money that was paid to Ramirez's son ended up being transferred into Ramirez's bank account. 

Luis Ramirez and his son, Evan, who has also pleaded guilty, and are both scheduled to be sentenced on June 26, 2010.  They could face up to 20 years in prison.
I wonder what is happening to the contractors who participated in this illegal scheme!

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