WASHINGTON – An Omaha, Neb., man was sentenced today in Omaha to 18 months in prison for committing wire fraud while serving a term of supervised release as part of a scheme to obtain corrupt payments from an individual facing criminal charges in return for a promised reduction in the individual’s prison sentence, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Austin Galvan, 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon for the District of Nebraska. In addition to his prison term, Galvan was ordered to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term and to pay $1,300 in restitution.
Galvan pleaded guilty on Feb. 6, 2012. According to court documents, Galvan told an associate who was facing federal criminal charges that Galvan had a law enforcement contact who could secure a substantial reduction in his associate’s prison sentence in exchange for corrupt payments. Galvan, in fact, had no such contact. At the time, Galvan was serving a term of supervised release.
According to his plea agreement, in subsequent conversations, Galvan urged his associate not to cooperate with federal authorities. Galvan admitted that he used the ruse of his fake law enforcement contact to solicit $ 21,300 in corrupt payments. Galvan also admitted that he provided his associate with what Galvan claimed was official material received from his purported law enforcement contact, including an audio recording of a court hearing and the business card of a federal judge who would assist in securing the sentence reduction. In fact, the federal judge was not handling the case and the audio recording was available to the public.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Kevin Driscoll and Barak Cohen of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Omaha Division.