Former Procurement Officer at Federally Funded Nuclear Research and Development Facility Sentenced to Prison for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering
A former procurement officer employed at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), a nuclear research and development facility of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was sentenced to three years in prison for orchestrating a scheme to obtain approximately $2.3 million in federal funds through fraudulent means and for laundering the fraudulently obtained proceeds through her father’s companies.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement.
Carla Sena, 56, of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James A. Parker of the District of New Mexico. Judge Parker also ordered Sena to forfeit $643,000, the approximate amount that she laundered through her father’s companies.
Sena pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in December 2017. According to admissions made in connection with her plea agreement, in late 2010, Sena was tasked with managing the bidding process for the award of a multi-million-dollar contract for moving services at SNL. In anticipation of the bidding process for this contract, she created New Mexico Express Movers LLC (“Movers LLC”), prepared a bid on Movers LLC’s behalf, and submitted the bid to SNL under an acquaintance’s name to conceal her involvement. Sena made several material and fraudulent misrepresentations in Movers LLC’s bid to give the appearance of meeting the mandatory requirements in the bidding process, and she then used her position to ensure that these misrepresentations went undetected. Sena also used her position to access other bidders’ documents and information that she in turn leveraged to ensure award of the contract to Movers LLC.
Sena admitted that as a direct result of her scheme to defraud, Movers LLC received approximately $2.3 million in DOE funds. Of that, Sena transferred via negotiated checks at least $643,000 to legitimate businesses owned by her father with the intent to conceal her subsequent use of the proceeds for personal gain.
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General investigated the case. Trial Attorneys Victor R. Salgado and Rebecca Moses of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section prosecuted the case.