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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Louisiana Company Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the Government and Violate the Procurement Integrity Act

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser and Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, announced that CAJAN WELDING & RENTALS, LTD., a company located in Opelousas, Louisiana, pleaded guilty on September 8, 2020 to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Procurement Integrity Act, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.

According to admissions made in connection with its guilty plea, CAJAN WELDING & RENTALS, LTD. conspired with unnamed co-conspirators to defraud the United States by corrupting and impairing the government procurement process, and by obtaining non-public pricing and cost information in order to obtain subcontract awards and payments from the U.S. Department of Energy in connection with its operation of the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

The charged offense carries a statutory maximum fine of $500,000.00, a term of probation of up to five years, and a special assessment of $400.00 for companies.

“Fraud, regardless of its scope and means of orchestration, is a serious crime. Especially egregious is fraud committed against the hardworking taxpayer, said U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Louisiana Peter G. Strasser.”  This guilty plea sends a clear message that our office will vigorously investigate and prosecute all such corruption cases.

“Today’s guilty plea demonstrates that corruption of the bidding process for a vital federal program like the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will not be tolerated.  The Justice Department is committed to investigate and prosecute collusion that impacts government procurement to the fullest extent of the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “The Antitrust Division will remain vigilant in protecting taxpayer funds through competition, and will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners to safeguard the federal procurement process.”

“The Department of Energy Office of Inspector General remains committed to ensuring the integrity of the Department's contractors and subcontractors,” said Teri L. Donaldson, Department of Energy Inspector General. “We take allegations of procurement integrity violations very seriously and will aggressively investigate these matters to protect the Department and the American taxpayers. “We appreciate the efforts of the DOJ in pursuing these allegations and will continue our collaboration with the DOJ to investigate those who seek to defraud Department programs.”

The case is the result of a federal investigation being conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal II Section, and the Department of Energy’s Office of the Inspector General.

 

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated September 9, 2020