Former Commerce Employee Convicted of Bribery Scheme
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted a former information technology official with the Department of Commerce today of conspiracy to pay and receive bribes, and acceptance of bribes by a public official.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Raushi J. Conrad, 42, of Bristow, served as the Director of Systems Operation and Security within the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), a branch of the Department of Commerce. In that position, Conrad was designated to oversee and manage a project whereby computer files were transferred from an old BIS computer network that had been infected by a virus to a new, uninfected network. Conrad was also to ensure that the transferred files were free of viruses and, in some instances, retained the full functionality of the files that had resided on the old network.
“Conrad took bribes in exchange for official acts,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The contracting process should be one of integrity and fairness, and this case should send a strong message that public corruption will be vigorously prosecuted. I want to thank the trial team and our investigative partners for their outstanding work on this case.”
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, while serving as the project manager for the data migration project, Conrad solicited and received bribes from James Bedford, a local businessman, in return for steering a lucrative subcontract and contract to perform the data migration work to companies owned in whole or in part by Bedford. One of Bedford’s companies made $208,000 in payments to a restaurant business owned by Conrad, and many of these 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 company, when in fact no such services had ever been provided. Bedford’s company also arranged for various subcontractors to perform over $7,000 worth of free renovation work at Conrad’s residence. Bedford has pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 30 (see case number 1:16-cr-264).
“Raushi Conrad received bribes from a local businessman in return for steering a lucrative subcontract and contract to perform the data migration work to companies owned in whole or in party by the bribe payer,” said Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Conrad, who served as the Director of Systems Operation and Security within the Bureau of Industry and Security, a branch of the Department of Commerce, received more than $200,000 in payments that were made to a restaurant business owned by him. The fake invoices made it appear that Conrad’s business had performed various services for the bribe payer’s company, when in fact no such services had ever been provided. Today’s verdict underscores the dedication of the FBI and our partners in pursuing and disrupting fraudulent acts against the government.”
Conrad faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when sentenced on September 8. 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.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Andrew W. Vale, 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 E. Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Burke and Jamar K. Walker 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. 1:16-cr-169.