Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Bribe USDA Inspector At Iowa Egg Production Facility
Contact: Peter Deegan
A man who participated in a conspiracy to bribe a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Inspector at an egg production facility in Wright County, Iowa, pled guilty today in federal court in Sioux City.
Tony Wasmund, age 61, from Willmar, Minnesota, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States.
At the plea hearing, Wasmund admitted that he conspired with at least one other person to bribe a public official, sell restricted eggs with intent to defraud, and sell misbranded food with intent to defraud and mislead.
Wasmund admitted that, on or about April 12, 2010, as part of the conspiracy, he authorized the disbursement of $300 from a Wright County, Iowa, egg production business knowing the cash was to be used to bribe a USDA Inspector. According to allegations in a September 11, 2012, criminal Information against Wasmund, the bribe was intended to influence the USDA Inspector to release for sale fresh shell eggs that the USDA had retained because they failed to meet USDA standards.
Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Wasmund remains free on bond pending sentencing. Wasmund faces a possible maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a fine equal to the greater of twice the gross gain resulting from the offense, twice the gross loss resulting from the offense, or $250,000, a $100 special assessment, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter Deegan and Department of Justice Consumer Protection Branch Trial Attorneys Lisa Hsiao and Christopher Parisi, and was investigated by the United States Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The government’s investigation is ongoing.
Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. The case file number is 12-3041.