Former VRE Manager Pleads Guilty to Accepting More Than $200,000 in Bribes
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Kevin Wirth Jannell, 49, of Fredericksburg, Va., pled guilty today to taking more than $200,000 in bribes to ensure a Virginia Railway Express (VRE) subcontractor would be retained by VRE.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office; and Kathryn Jones, Regional Special Agent in Charge for the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.
Jannell, a former facilities manager for VRE, made his first appearance in court today and pled guilty to a criminal information charging him with one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 21, 2012.
According to the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Jannell provided oversight of VRE contracts for individuals and companies providing landscaping and maintenance of VRE stations and facilities. Since 2003 and continuing through March 2012, Jannell agreed to take up to $4,000 each month in return for giving favorable evaluations that would ensure an individual and this person’s company would be retained as a subcontractor for VRE.
Jannell concealed the bribes by creating a nominee company and sent monthly invoices to the subcontractor from that company, falsely billing the company for services that were never rendered. According to court records, the total amount of bribes paid exceeded $200,000 and was less than $400,000.
Authorities request that anyone with information regarding this case or similar allegations of fraud or corruption to call the FBI’s Northern Virginia Public Corruption and Government Fraud Tip Line at (703) 686-6225 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The investigation was initiated by FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Lytle and Jasmine Yoon from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.