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

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Brooklyn Man Pleads Guilty to Government Contracting Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A New York man pleaded guilty today to committing government contracting fraud.

According to court documents, Alter Stesel, aka Herman Stesel, aka Randy Stern, aka Henry Shtaiseel, 41, of Brooklyn, was a government contractor based in Brooklyn. Stesel and his company, A1 4 Electronics Inc., were placed in proposed debarment status by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for providing counterfeit goods and for a history of failure to perform or unsatisfactory performance on contracts. After learning of his proposed debarment, Stesel created a new company called A1 Tech Pal, Inc., in order to continue obtaining government contracts, including contracts awarded by the General Services Administration and U.S. Department of State, despite his ineligibility due to his proposed debarment status. Stesel used a fake alias to falsely certify to the United States government that he was not currently proposed for debarment. A1 Tech Pal received approximately 37 contracts worth approximately $245,000 as a result of this false certification. Stesel later created another company called Pomegranate Office, Inc., and used another fake alias to falsely certify that he was not presently debarred, although by that time his debarment was in effect.  Pomegranate Office received approximately seven contracts worth approximately $60,000 as a result of this false certification.

Stesel pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on September 20. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Carol Fortine Ochoa, Inspector General, General Services Administration, and Steve A. Linick, Inspector General for the Department of State, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Grace L. Hill and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Carlberg are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-175.

Financial Fraud
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications
Updated June 26, 2018