Government Official and Contracting Executive Plead Guilty to Bribery Conspiracy
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The former Director of Procurement for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the president and chief executive officer of a government contracting firm pleaded guilty today to conspiring to bribe a public official.
Jeffrey B. Donahue, 42, of Herndon, and Nadeem Ansari, 47, of Haymarket, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to bribe a public official. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2020, for Donahue and Ansari.
According to court documents, Donahue served as a Supervisory Contract Administrator with PBGC and then as Director of the Procurement Department from March 2014 to February 2020. From at least 2015 through August 2017, Donahue solicited and received cash payments and other things of value, including the promise of a job valued at $1 million, from Ansari and Ansari’s company. In exchange, Donahue agreed to steer PBGC contracts to Ansari’s company.
In 2015, Donahue approached Ansari and offered to help Ansari’s new company win a PBGC contract, worth approximately $55 million, in exchange for a future job with the company. Among other things, Donahue provided Ansari with sample bid proposals; helped draft, review, and edit the company’s bid proposal; and disclosed labor pricing estimates. When the company did not win the contract, Donahue helped Ansari draft the company’s bid protest. Ansari admitted that his business partners were aware of his arrangement with Donahue.
In 2016, Donahue proposed a second arrangement with Ansari in which Donahue would receive up to $125,000 from Ansari and his company in exchange for steering a contract to Ansari’s company. PBGC awarded the contract to Ansari’s company, which resulted in payments to the company totaling approximately $3.29 million. Donahue steered the contract by, among other things, providing sensitive, non-public information and work product to Ansari; providing guidance for contract pricing; and adjusting the terms of the contract to align with the qualifications of the company’s personnel. Donahue received at least $48,000 in cash, plus additional gifts. Donahue and Ansari also took steps to conceal the scheme and their communications with each other, including using separate, dedicated cellular telephones and e-mail accounts and communicating through encrypted software.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Office of Inspector General and the FBI investigated the case. Trial Attorney Edward P. Sullivan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Grace L. Hill of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia, Acting Inspector General Nicholas J. Novak of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.