Coast Guard Officer Sentenced to 21 Months for Receiving Kickbacks from Contractors
NORFOLK, Va. – Danielle Daniese Ferreira, 36, of Alexandria, Va., was sentenced late yesterday evening in Norfolk federal court to 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for wire fraud. She was also order to pay $98,658.50 in restitution to the United States Treasury.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Michael Dawson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, Washington Field Office, and Otis E. Harris, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Hampton Roads, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Senior Judge Robert G. Doumar. Ferreira previously pled guilty on December 5, 2011.
According to court documents, Ferreira was a Coast Guard Lieutenant serving as a Type Desk Manager for the Coast Guard in Norfolk, Va. Her duties included recommending contractors for maintenance and repairs onboard Coast Guard cutters stationed on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, and overseeing those repairs to their completion. In early 2009, Ferreira recommended five procurement requests for ship repairs to Strategy One, LLC, a small corporation in Connecticut that had no expertise in ship repairs. Strategy One, LLC was owned by Ferreira’s cousin, Tracia Christian-Young. Ferreira recommended Wallace Haggins, an active duty Coast Guard recruiter, to assist Christian-Young in obtaining workers to fulfill the repair contracts. Ferreira also recruited former Coast Guard members to complete the ship repairs awarded to Strategy One, LLC. Once the ship repairs were completed and the U.S. Treasury paid Strategy One, Christian-Young and Haggins deposited approximately $83,000 into two business accounts owned by Ferreira and her spouse, Henry Ferreira. These two business accounts bore the names Black Kai Boxing Academy and TEDD Electric, and therefore had no apparent relation to Ferreira and her spouse.
Ferreira also obtained $15,000 from another Coast Guard contractor by adding $15,000 to the contractor’s final payment. Ferreira told the contractor that a subcontractor on another of her Coast Guard contracts had not been paid, and the additional $15,000 was to pay that sub-contractor. Ferreira asked the contractor to make the $15,000 check payable to TEDD Electric, which was the name of her spouse’s company and bank account. In total, Lieutenant Ferreira and her co-defendants fraudulently obtained approximately $150,000 in less than six months. A Coast Guard inquiry of Danielle Ferreira began in November 2009.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General and Coast Guard Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorney Stephen W. Haynie prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.