United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Former U.S. Air Force Contracting Officer and Two Contractors Indicted for Conspiring to Bribe Public Officials
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three individuals were indicted today for conspiring to bribe public officials, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
Sohail Amin, 29, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Fremont, Calif., Lida Amin, 40, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Dublin, Calif., and Jeron Shelton Rochon, 32, of Houston, Texas, were indicted today in the Northern District of Texas.
The indictment alleges that between 2007 and 2010, Sohail Amin and Lida Amin, both private government contractors, conspired with Rochon, a member of the U.S. Air Force, and others to bribe U.S. Air Force contracting officers in order to obtain military procurement contracts. Between October 2007 and June 2008, in exchange for bribe offers and bribe payments, Rochon issued government contracts and coached Sohail Amin and Lida Amin on how to bid for contracts. The indictment alleges that Sohail Amin paid bribes to Rochon in cash in both Afghanistan and Dallas and instructed Rochon not to deposit large sums of money into the banking system to avoid the reporting of such deposits by banks.
Today’s indictment in Texas is related to an indictment filed on August 8, 2013, in the Eastern District of California. According to the California indictment, Lida Amin and her brother Nabil Amin traveled to Budapest, Hungary, in September 2012, to meet with a U.S. Air Force contract administrator to discuss the details of a scheme to obtain government contracts in exchange for bribe payments. The contract administrator had formerly been stationed in Afghanistan. The defendants’ scheme involved obtaining as many contracts as possible over an extended period of time by making bribe payments to the contract administrator after each contract was completed. In exchange for the bribe payments, the contract administrator would continue to assist Lida Amin and Nabil Amin in obtaining new government contracts.
Today’s indictment in Texas names Rochon as the contract administrator in the California indictment. He is expected to appear in court in the near future. Sohail Amin is currently in federal custody on another charge.
Lida Amin was arrested on August 28, 2013, in Prague, Czech Republic, by Czech authorities when she traveled to Prague to meet with the contract administrator. The Department of Justice will seek the extradition of Lida Amin to the United States should she not consent to removal to the United States. Nabil Amin surrendered to U.S. authorities on October 7, 2013.
The charges filed in the Eastern District of California and the Northern District of Texas are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Air Force, Office of Special Investigations, the Fremont Police Department, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs, and the Czech National Police. Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Beckwith is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release for each count. Any actual sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.