State Department Contractor Agrees to Pay Civil Penalties Under the Procurement Integrity Act
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Bernhardt Furniture Company, located in Lenoir, North Carolina, has agreed to pay $172,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations involving violations of the Procurement Integrity Act relating to the company’s receipt of competitor bid information and providing of gratuities to State Department employees in connection with a State Department contract.
The settlement resolves civil penalty claims against Bernhardt relating to criminal pleas entered by Bernhardt Vice President of Sales Steven Anstine, and State Department procurement officials Patricia DeLaughter and Davina Foster. From December 2016 to March 2017, in connection with a contract for the construction of the new Jakarta Embassy, Bernhardt received competitor bid information, including confidential bid prices and competitor’s design plans, on at least three separate occasions. In return, Bernhardt’s Anstine provided DeLaughter and Foster with meals and tickets to concerts and sporting events. Bernhardt, through its use of competitor’s confidential bid information, won the contract to provide furniture for the Jakarta Embassy; however, the conduct was discovered and the award was canceled before Bernhardt received any funds.
The resolutions obtained in this matter were the result of a coordinated effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of State.
The matter was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin S. Starr. The civil claims settled by this settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of civil liability.
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 Criminal Case No. 1:19-cr-205 (United States v. Patricia DeLaughter) and 1:19-cr-256 (United States v. Davina Foster) and on the website of the District of South Carolina or on PACER by searching for Criminal Case No. Case No. 2:19:cr-404 (D.S.C.) (United States v. Steven Anstine).
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.