Former Employees of Emergency Vehicle Vendors Sentenced for Conspiring to Defraud Employers on Homeland Security Contract
WASHINGTON – Two Florida homeland security vendor employees were sentenced today for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud by depriving their employers of money and the right of honest services, the Department of Justice announced today.
Luis M. Candelario, a former sales representative for JPS Communications Inc., was sentenced to serve 18 months in jail. Thomas E. Vander Luitgaren (Vander), a former general manager of AK Specialty Vehicles LLC (AKSV), was sentenced today to serve 18 months of home confinement except for employment and four years probation. Candelario and Vander were ordered to pay jointly $238, 371 in restitution to JPS and $11,050 in restitution to Advanced Vehicle Systems LLC, a subcontractor of AKSV. Candelario and Vander were convicted of the charges on Oct. 1, 2008, following a two-week trial.
Candelario and Vander originally were indicted on Dec. 5, 2007, in U. S. District Court in Orlando, Fla., for participating in a kickback scheme with Angel L. Rodriguez-Vasquez (Rodriguez-Vasquez), a former sales representative for Fisher Scientific International LLC, to defraud their respective employers. The kickback scheme involved federal emergency vehicle contracts with the U.S. Virgin Islands government. According to the charges, the scheme began in September 2003 and continued through July 2005. Rodriguez-Vasquez pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy in October 2007 and is awaiting sentencing.
"Today’s sentencing demonstrates that those who seek to enrich themselves by engaging in kickback schemes designed to defraud their employers will be held accountable," said Scott D. Hammond, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Department’s Antitrust Division.
"American taxpayers deserve honesty from those who serve them," General Services Administration Inspector General Brian Miller said. "Contractors who defraud the government will be punished."
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Atlanta Field Office in conjunction with the General Services Administration’s Office of Inspector General (New York Field Office) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. Anyone with information concerning price fixing, bid rigging or kickback schemes involving homeland security contracting in the Southeast United States, Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico should contact the Atlanta Field Office of the Antitrust Division at 404-331-7100.