WASHINGTON — A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. today indicted a former vice president of a transportation contractor with providing an illegal gratuity to a former D.C. transportation official, the Department of Justice announced.
According to the indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Kenneth Keitt, while employed as vice president of DMJM+Harris Inc. (DMJM), gave $6,900 to the former associate director of the Traffic Services Administration (TSA) of the D.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) in efforts to reward past official acts and influence future acts. The alleged actions took place from October 2001 to about December 2001. At the time, the TSA and DMJM, a traffic engineering firm, were engaged in a transportation contract worth about $12.9 million and were discussing additional future contracts. The former associate director of TSA was responsible for the provision of millions of dollars worth of emergency traffic services for D.C. after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Keitt gave money to the former associate director of TSA in exchange for favorable treatment in administering, overseeing and continuing the contract with DMJM, the Department alleged in court papers.
"It is illegal to pay a government official to subvert the competitive process," said Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division. "Today's indictment demonstrates the Antitrust Division's resolve to hold accountable individuals who engage in anticompetitive practices."
Today's charge, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201, carries a maximum fine of $250,000, two years of imprisonment, or both. In addition, a person convicted under this statute may be ordered to make full restitution to his or her victim(s) for any losses incurred.
Today's indictment is part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Antitrust Division's National Criminal Enforcement Section with the assistance of the Washington Field Offices of the United States Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Antitrust Division's ongoing investigation has already yielded guilty pleas from Wilhelm DerMinassian of the D.C. DOT and another transportation contractor, Dunn Engineering Associates P.C. On April 11, 2005, DerMinassian pleaded guilty to engaging in a scheme to deprive D.C. and its citizens of their right to DerMinassian's honest services as a public official and to receiving an illegal gratuity. DerMinassian is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence and is required to pay a $50,000 criminal fine and to make restitution to D.C. in the amount of $50,000. Also, on April 11, 2005, Dunn Engineering pleaded guilty to providing DerMinassian with an illegal gratuity and was sentenced to pay a criminal fine of $75,000.
Anyone with information concerning anticompetitive activities involving administration of the government of the District of Columbia should contact the Antitrust Division's National Criminal Enforcement Section at 202-307-6694.