WASHINGTON — A former Consolidated Edison of New York (Con Ed) manager was sentenced today to serve 70 months in prison for participating in schemes to accept approximately $807,000 in bribes from two Con Ed industrial pipe supply vendors, the Department of Justice announced.
James M. Woodason of Edison, N.J., was also sentenced in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by Judge Denise L. Cote to pay a $12,500 criminal fine and to pay $342,000, as well as from 10 to 20 percent of Woodason’s total compensation and benefits earned through his employment with Con Ed during the charged periods, for a total of approximately $528,000 in restitution to be paid by Woodason and his co-conspirators to Con Ed on a joint and several basis. On Nov. 19, 2010, Woodason, a former department manager of purchasing at Con Ed, pleaded guilty to a four-count felony charge alleging that he accepted bribe payments from two industrial pipe supply vendors, in exchange for steering contracts to each of those vendors.
According to court documents, Woodason was responsible for purchasing and awarding contracts for millions of dollars in goods and services and managing inventory on behalf of Con Ed. Woodason accepted approximately $297,000 from one vendor in a bribery scheme that took place from approximately November 2003 through approximately August 2008. Woodason accepted approximately $45,000 in bribe payments from another vendor in a bribery scheme that took place from approximately January 2009 until approximately August 2010. The department said that Woodason had also agreed to take an additional $465,000 in bribes from that vendor.
According to court documents, in addition to two separate conspiracies, Woodason also pleaded guilty to one count of bribery for receiving a $20,000 cash bribe payment related to the 2009-2010 conspiracy and to one count of income tax evasion for failing to report bribes he received as income in the tax years 2004 through 2008.
On Aug. 5, 2010, Woodason was arrested in connection with this investigation by special agents of the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation.
Following the terms of his plea agreement, Woodason also paid $155,109 owed to the IRS as a result of the schemes and did not contest forfeiture of a $20,000 cash bribe payment found in the search of his home on the day of his arrest.
Con Ed is a regulated utility headquartered in Manhattan. It provides electric service to approximately 3.2 million customers and gas service to approximately 1.1 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y. Con Ed received more than $10,000 in federal funding each year between 2003 through 2010. Con Ed cooperated with the department’s investigation.
Including Woodason, a total of four individuals and two companies have been charged as part of this investigation. The remaining five defendants are awaiting sentencing.
These charges arose from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation of bid rigging, bribery, fraud and tax-related offenses in the power generation industry. The investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s New York Field Office, with the assistance of the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation. Anyone with information concerning bid rigging, bribery, tax offenses or fraud in the power generation industry should contact the FBI’s New York Division at 212-384-3720 or the Antitrust Division’s New York Field Office at 212-335-8000, or visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm.