Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Program Director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and Nephew Arrested in Kickback Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – Kirk Perry, 59, of Lorain, Ohio, and his nephew Jamarea Grant, 30, of Cleveland, Ohio, were arrested this morning on wire fraud and conspiracy charges filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, and Inspector General Phyllis K. Fong of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General.

            Both defendants are expected to make their initial appearance in the Northern District of Ohio today.

            According to the indictment, from August 2015 through November 2022, Perry, a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Program Director, arranged for Grant to be hired by two companies under contract with the USDA Office for Civil Rights. Court documents allege that Grant reported directly to Perry, and the two of them conspired to bill the government for work that Grant did not actually perform. Grant is alleged to have received nearly $400,000 for work he did not do, and, in return, kicked back approximately $125,000 to Perry as part of the criminal scheme.

            If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison for the charged offenses of Money, Property, and Honest Services Wire Fraud, and Conspiracy to Commit Money, Property, and Honest Services Wire Fraud. The maximum statutory sentence for federal offenses is prescribed by Congress and is provided for informational purposes. If convicted, the defendants’ sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, Sensitive Investigations Office (SIO).  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian P. Kelly and Joshua Rothstein of the Fraud, Public Corruption, and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.

            An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated May 21, 2024

Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-442