FORMER CONTRACT DISPATCHER PLEADS GUILTY TO ACCEPTING KICKBACKS
HULON EUGENE PARSONS, a/k/a/ Gene Parsons, age 60, of Hammond, Louisiana, a former employee of Boh Brothers Construction Company, Inc., pled guilty today before U. S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle to illegally accepting kickbacks relating to a prime contract with the United States, announced United States Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, PARSONS’ former employer was awarded a subcontract to perform asphalt work on the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Belle Chasse in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. The prime contract on that job was awarded by an agency of the Department of the Navy, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast. PARSONS was employed as a dispatcher in the trucking department and was responsible for awarding trucking business to various trucking subcontractors on that other jobs.
A principal in a trucking company, which sought and received work as a trucking subcontractor, reported to law enforcement that for a period of ten years, he dealt almost exclusively with PARSONS, who required him to pay kickbacks to obtain work as a subcontractor. He estimated that over a ten-year time span, he paid about $200,000 in kickbacks to PARSONS. In December, 2008, the individual decided he no longer was willing to pay kickbacks to PARSONS, so he stopped paying kickbacks and the amount and frequency with which he was awarded work by PARSONS decreased dramatically. Because Boh Brothers was the trucker’s only client, the decrease in work led him to having to dispose of several trucks and his company was on the verge of bankruptcy.
The trucker reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he had been required to pay kickbacks to PARSONS in order to be awarded trucking work. The FBI provided cash to the trucker from which he paid three kickbacks to PARSONS. The trucker also recorded conversations between PARSONS and himself relating to those payments. In September, 2009, after the trucker had been paid $1,110 for work his company performed on the NAS Belle Chasse subcontract, he paid PARSONS a $300 kickback. PARSONS then awarded the trucker an additional $3,000 in trucking work on the Belle Chasse subcontract, and the trucker paid PARSONS an additional $600 in kickbacks. During the same time period, PARSONS awarded the trucker a total of $20,460 in trucking work on various jobs. Of that amount, the sum of $4,020 related to work on the Belle Chasse job.
During the court proceedings, it was noted that PARSONS previously had turned over to the Government a $50,000 check payable to the trucker as an immediate payment of restitution. The final amount of restitution owed will be determined by the court.
The defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, and up to three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for October 27, 2010.
Speaking to today’s conviction, U. S. Attorney Jim Letten stated:
“It is important that our citizens know that successful cases such as this one are often difficult if not impossible without the courageous assistance of individuals such as the trucking company executive who worked with the FBI to assist in addressing this corrupt scheme. Thanks to his efforts, this investigation continues.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Louisiana State Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Eileen Gleason.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org