Delaware Business-Exec Sentenced for Amtrak Bribery Scheme
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Donald Scott Crothers, 45, of Milford, Delaware was sentenced to 18 months’ incarceration and three years’ supervised release by United States District Judge R. Barclay Surrick for his role in a federal program bribery scheme involving millions of dollars in contracts with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (“Amtrak”). Crothers’ co-defendant, John Gonzales, will be sentenced at a later date.
Crothers and Gonzales were both executives for a small, Delaware-based manufacturing firm; Crothers served as the firm’s Vice President for Marketing and Contract Administration. The pair bribed Timothy Miller, a Lead Contract Administrator working in procurement for Amtrak, with cash payments totaling approximately $20,000 and trips to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. In turn, Miller awarded more than $7.6 million in Amtrak contracts to the defendants’ firm – contracts which were federally funded through US Department of Transportation/Federal Railroad Administration grants. Miller pleaded guilty on April 11, 2018.
“This defendant flouted the law to gain millions of public dollars for his firm under false pretenses,” said First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams. “The contracting process for federally-funded transportation projects must be unbiased and competitive in order to ensure fairness for all competing businesses and taxpayers. This Office is committed to maintaining the integrity of the federal contracting system and will prosecute those who violate this important area of federal law.”
“Pursuing corrupt companies and individuals who abuse government procurement practices for personal gain demonstrates the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General’s (DOT OIG) commitment to maintain the integrity of funds used for federal transportation goods and services,” said DOT OIG Regional Special Agent-In-Charge Douglas Shoemaker. “DOT OIG along with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners will continue to strongly pursue such cases involving wrongdoing for corporate crimes and greed.”
“Donald Crothers tried to gin up more business for his firm — not by working harder or smarter, but through blatant bribery,” said Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “He corrupted the government’s contracting process, yielding millions in ill-gotten gains, and is finally being held to account for his actions.”
“Today’s sentencing highlights our commitment to ensuring Amtrak’s contracting process remains free from criminal activity,” said Kevin Winters, Amtrak’s Inspector General. “We appreciate the seamless collaboration with the U.S. Attorney's Office as well as the sustained professionalism exhibited by our investigative staff and partner agencies in getting to this result.”
The case was investigated by the Amtrak Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U. S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric Gibson.