VRE Manager Sentenced to 24 Months for Accepting More Than $350,000 in Bribes
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Kevin Wirth Jannell, 49, of Fredericksburg, Va., was sentenced today to 24 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for taking more than $350,000 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; Debra Evans Smith, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Kathryn Jones, Regional Special Agent in Charge for the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.
In addition to the 24-month sentence, the court ordered Jannell to forfeit $357,000 and provide 100 hours of community service.
“Bribes should never be just another cost of doing business with the government,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Kevin Jannell abused his position by padding his paycheck each month and playing favorites in a contracting process that should be honest and transparent. Today’s sentence will go a long way toward rebuilding the public’s trust and demonstrating that those who corrupt the contracting process will spend years in prison paying for their crimes.”
“Mr. Jannell held a position of trust in which he was expected to impartially oversee contracts for upkeep and maintenance of VRE facilities. Instead, he took money to improve his own standing and corrupted the contracting process,” said Acting Assistant Director in Charge Smith. “Government corruption at any level is the FBI’s top criminal priority, and the Washington Field Office continues to demonstrate that we will investigate and pursue all those who choose to use their official position for personal gain.”
Jannell pled guilty on Sept. 27, 2012, to bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. A former facilities manager for VRE, Jannell provided oversight of VRE contracts for individuals and companies providing landscaping and maintenance of VRE stations and facilities. Beginning in 2003, Jannell accepted monthly payments of up to $4,000 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. The forfeiture order states that Jannell received $357,000 in proceeds from his crime.
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.
This ongoing 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.