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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 31, 2020

Former PG&E Employee Pleads Guilty to over $1.4M Fraud Conspiracy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A former PG&E employee pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and admitted to receiving kickback payments from a Stockton transportation company owned by his cousin, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to the plea agreement, Ronald S. Schoenfeld, 65, of Goodyear, Arizona, formerly of Dublin, California, while employed at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, conspired to obtain contracts from PG&E for his cousin’s transportation business in exchange for kickbacks from that business worth approximately 2.5% of the value of the contracts. Schoenfeld concealed from PG&E his familial relationship with his co-conspirator from PG&E, provided confidential information to his co-conspirator, and, at times, directly intervened in the consideration of contracts between PG&E and his co-conspirator’s business, all contrary to PG&E’s policies.

From March 2007 through February 2015, PG&E paid at least $82.1 million to the business operated by Schoenfeld’s cousin for services it provided pursuant to PG&E contracts. During the same period, Schoenfeld’s co-conspirator paid him at least $1,476,000 in kickbacks for his role in the conspiracy.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys André M. Espinosa, Amy S. Hitchcock, and Tanya B. Syed are prosecuting the case.

Schoenfeld is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on November 16, 2020. Schoenfeld faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
2:20-cr-150-KJM
Updated August 31, 2020