Businessman Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charges Involving Government Contracts
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – James C. Bedford, 50, of Dumfries, pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery of a public official.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, in 2006, the computer systems of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), a bureau within the Department of Commerce, were infected by a computer virus that required BIS to shut down internet access to its computer systems and to construct a new computer network that had not been infected by the virus. Because BIS employees needed access to files that resided on the old system, files needed to be migrated from the old, infected network to the new, uninfected network.
According to the statement of facts, from May 2010 through October 2011, Bedford conspired with Raushi J. Conrad, then a BIS employee, to pay bribes to ensure that Bedford’s companies were awarded and maintained a lucrative subcontract and contract to perform the data migration work. Conrad was then serving within the Office of the Chief Information Officer for BIS and had been designated to oversee the data migration project. Conrad has been indicted for his role in the conspiracy and bribery scheme.
According to the statement of facts, Bedford made $208,000 in payments through a construction company he owned to a restaurant business owned by Conrad, many payments were concealed through false and fictitious invoices created by Conrad. The fake invoices made it appear that Conrad’s restaurant business had performed various services for Bedford’s construction company, when in fact no such services ever had been provided. Bedford also paid for over $7,000 worth of renovation work performed at Conrad’s residence. In exchange, Bedford’s companies reaped over $1 million in profits from the data migration subcontract and contract.
Bedford faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison sentenced on March 31, 2017. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Duane E. Townsend, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General; and Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for Defense Criminal Investigative Service Mid-Atlantic Field Office made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Burke and Jamar K. Walker are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-264 and 1:16-cr-169.