Former Caltrans contract manager pleads guilty to bid-fixing and bribery charges | GRANDPA

A former contract manager for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) pleaded guilty today to his role in a bid-fixing and bribery scheme involving Caltrans upgrade and repair contracts.

According to a plea agreement filed today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento, from early 2015 to late 2019, Choon Foo “Keith” Yong and his co-conspirators were involved in a conspiracy to thwart the bidding process for Caltrans contracts to ensure , that companies controlled by Yong’s co-conspirators get the nod and get the nod. Yong is also accused of accepting bribes while working for Caltrans, a California state agency that receives significant federal funding. Yong received the bribes in the form of cash payments, wine, furniture and home renovations. The total value of the payments and benefits Yong received exceeded $800,000. In addition to his guilty plea, Yong agreed to make amends and cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

“Today’s guilty plea is the first in the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation into bribery and bid-fixing at Caltrans,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “With the approval of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the critical role of transportation infrastructure in our country, eradicating bid-fixing that cheats the competitive bidding process remains a Procurement Collusion task for the Division and its partners Strike Force top priority.”

Yong is scheduled to be sentenced by US District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on August 22. For the bid-fixing conspiracy, Yong faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million or double the gross wealth gain or double the gross wealth loss resulting from the offense. For bribery related to programs that receive federal funds, Yong faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or double the gross wealth gained or double the gross wealth lost from the offense. However, the actual penalty will be determined at the discretion of the court after considering all applicable legal factors and US sentencing guidelines.

Today’s guilty plea is the first finding of a joint investigation led by the San Francisco office of the Antitrust Division, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of California and the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office as part of the Justice Department’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF). .

In November 2019, the Department of Justice established the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF), a joint law enforcement effort to combat antitrust crimes and related fraudulent schemes affecting government procurement, grants and program funding at all levels of government – ​​federal, state and local. In the fall of 2020, the Strike Force expanded its footprint with the launch of PCSF: Global, aimed at preventing, detecting, investigating, and prosecuting collusion targeting government spending outside of the United States. To learn more about the PCSF or to report information about market sharing, price fixing, bid rigging and other anti-competitive behavior related to defense-related spending.

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