Contractor Sentenced in Bribery Scheme at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Separate Arson Insurance Fraud Scheme
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Louis Pisani, Jr., age 44, of Silver Spring, Maryland, today to 46 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit bribery and obstruction of an agency investigation, arising from a scheme to influence contracting at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center; and in a separate case, mail fraud in an arson insurance fraud scheme. Judge Messitte also ordered Pisani to pay a fine of $18,000 and entered a restitution order of $66,900 against him.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Brigadier General Rodney L. Johnson of the Army Criminal Investigation Command; Special Agent in Charge C. André Martin of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; and Montgomery County Fire Marshal Michael Love.
Pisani was sole shareholder of Platinum Contractors, Inc., located in Silver Spring and Hyattsville, Maryland. In addition, Pisani and Leon Krachyna were each 50% shareholders and corporate officers of Home Sweet Home Moving and Storage, Inc. located in Hyattsville.
According to Pisani’s plea agreement, from about the fall of 1999 until about February 2003, Pisani conspired with Krachyna and Kevin Roach, a civilian contract specialist with the U.S. Army Medical Command responsible for helping to procure goods and services for Walter Reed, to bribe Roach to steer government contracts to Pisani’s companies, including one contract potentially worth up to $1.2 million. Pisani and Krachyna gave Roach 10% of the contract proceeds in cash and checks, and also paid thousands of dollars in insurance premiums and loan payments on a truck they gave to Roach. In exchange, Roach gave Pisani and Krachyna confidential bidding information and his best efforts to cause the Army to award the contracts to their companies.
In September 2002, the Army Criminal Investigation Division initiated an investigation into contracts secured by Pisani. During an interview by an Army investigator in April 2003, Pisani falsely denied under oath that he paid Roach money for contracts awarded to his company.
Finally, in June 2003, Pisani and a co-schemer purchased a residence on Edgefield Road in Bethesda, Maryland, intending to turn a lucrative profit by demolishing the residence, subdividing the lots and using the property for new residential construction to be re-sold. Pisani and the co-schemer purchased an insurance policy on the property. The policy specifically excluded from coverage any loss caused intentionally by the insured or by a person directed by the insured. Pisani, the co-schemer and Pisani’s friend, Thomas Moriarty, discussed substantially damaging the residence by fire and then submitting a claim on the policy. Moriarty was asked to set fire to the house. On Friday evening, March 12, 2004, the co-schemer prepared the residence with highly flammable fuel and Moriarty set it on fire, substantially damaging the residence. Pisani arranged to have dinner that night with several friends, and his co-schemer traveled to New Jersey.
After being notified of the loss, the insurance company issued checks for $50,000 and $16,900, as an advance payment on the loss and for costs associated with temporary housing for Pisani and his co-schemer. When insurance company representatives and the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the cause of the fire, Pisani and the co-schemer tried to conceal their involvement in the fire by persuading another person not to reveal information about the fire to the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office, and providing false information to the insurance company and the Fire Marshal’s Office. Suspicious of the cause of the fire, the insurance company did not pay the balance of the claim.
Kevin R. Roach, age 48, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. Army of his honest services as a public official. Roach was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine. Thomas Patrick Moriarty, age 40, of Dickerson, Maryland, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with the scheme to defraud the insurance company by setting fire to the Edgefield Road residence. Moriarty was sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $33,000. Leon Krachyna, age 41, of Rockville, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison at his sentencing scheduled for February 17, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael R. Pauzé and Steven M. Dunne, who prosecuted these cases.