WASHINGTON – An Illinois commercial print broker pleaded guilty today to making false statements in a bid submitted to the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), the Department of Justice announced.
Richard I. Keefe of Rock Falls, Ill., pleaded guilty today to a one-count felony charge filed on Nov. 4, 2010, in U.S. District Court in Chicago. According to the court document, Keefe submitted a bid to the GPO in or around January 2008 in the name of a company that had not authorized him to do so. Keefe also certified that the bid was not made with an understanding that a brokerage fee would be paid, when in fact it was. In order to reduce the costs of printing services procured by the federal government, the GPO procures most printing services through competitive bidding and attempts to limit the payment of commissions and brokerage fees in connection with print solicitations as much as possible.
The department said that the GPO, an agency within the legislative branch of the U.S. government, issued the bid on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service of the Department of the Treasury. By statute, the GPO performs, with few exceptions, all printing for the federal government. The GPO procures most printing services from outside vendors, and its annual print solicitations are approximately $1 billion.
Keefe is charged with making false statements, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for individuals. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.
This case is the first to arise in an ongoing investigation of bids to the GPO and is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section and by the GPO’s Office of Inspector General. Anyone with information concerning price fixing or other anticompetitive conduct regarding GPO print solicitations should contact the National Criminal Enforcement Section at 202-307-5784, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm or contact the GPO’s Office of Inspector General at 1-800-743-7574.