WASHINGTON – An Omaha, Neb., man pleaded guilty today to committing wire fraud for trying to solicit corrupt payments from an individual in return for a promised reduction in the individual’s ultimate prison sentence, announced Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Austin Galvan, 30, was charged in a two-count indictment unsealed on Aug. 29, 2011, with wire fraud and obstruction of justice. According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court for Nebraska, Galvan told an associate, who was facing federal criminal charges in the District of Nebraska, that he had a law enforcement contact in Nebraska who could secure a substantial reduction in his associate’s prison sentence in exchange for corrupt payments. Galvan, in fact, had no such contact.
According to court documents, in subsequent conversations, Galvan urged his associate not to cooperate with federal authorities. Galvan admitted that he assured his associate that his contact was in a position to help secure a reduction in the associate’s prison sentence, contingent upon corrupt payments. Galvan also admitted that he gave his associate what he claimed was official material given to him by his purported law enforcement contact. Specifically, Galvan provided his associate with an audio recording of a court hearing and claimed that his purported law enforcement contact had given it to him. In fact, Galvan had downloaded the recording from the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system, or PACER. Moreover, Galvan had provided his associate with what he claimed to be the business card of a federal judge who would assist in securing the sentence reduction, when in fact the federal judge was not handling the case.
Wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for May 11, 2012.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Kevin Driscoll and Barak Cohen of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case is being investigated by the FBI.