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Press Release

Long Island Man Pleads Guilty to Bribing Federal Official to Obtain Nearly $1 Million in Federal Contracts

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Sold Components that Ignited Causing More than $1.8 Million in Fire Damage to Department of Energy

Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Michael Montenes, the owner of M.S. Hi-Tech, Incorporated (MSHT), a Hauppauge-based distributor of electronic components, pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with bribery of a federal official in connection with a scheme to pay more than $18,000 to a Department of Energy (DOE) Procurement Officer in exchange for approximately $969,000 in DOE contracts. The proceeding was held before United States Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione.  When sentenced, Montenes faces up to 15 years in prison.  As part of his guilty plea, Montenes agreed to forfeit approximately $969,000 and to pay DOE more than $1.8 million in restitution.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Teri L. Donaldson, Department of Energy Inspector General, announced the guilty plea.

“Like the faulty components that he bribed a government official to purchase and caused damage to a Department of Energy laboratory, Montenes’s scheme has gone down in flames and he must now face the consequences for his crime,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “This Office will continue to root out corruption that undermines the integrity of competitive bidding in the procurement process.”

Mr. Peace thanked the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, for its work on the case.

“The Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General will continue to ensure that there is no place in our supply chain for bribery and corrupt schemes,” said Department of Energy Inspector General Teri L. Donaldson. “Anyone who suspects such conduct is encouraged to report it immediately. We appreciate the fine work of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal law enforcement partners on this joint investigation.”

Between approximately December 2017 and December 2020, Montenes paid a Procurement Officer (Co-conspirator 1), who was employed at a DOE laboratory in Virginia approximately $18,800 in bribes to induce Co-conspirator 1 to enter into contracts for electronic components that MSHT, supplied to the DOE’s Virginia laboratory.  Montenes mailed these payments, which ranged from $500 to $7,200, from Long Island to Co-conspirator 1 in Virginia.  During the bribery scheme, Co-conspirator 1 awarded contracts worth more than $969,000 to MSHT, which represented 95% of all of MSHT’s sales to the DOE’s Virginia laboratory.  In July 2021, some of the electronic components that MSHT sold to DOE based upon Montenes’s bribes failed and caused a fire, resulting in approximately $1.8 million in repairs and other costs to DOE. 

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Bradley T. King is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendants:

 Michael Montenes
Age:  61
St. James, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 23-CR-124 (JS)


John Marzulli
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated May 3, 2023

Public Corruption