U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref Honored by Washington Women Lawyers for “Passing the Torch” and Going “Above and Beyond” to Mentor Women Lawyers
Yakima – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Kentey Ramone Fielder, age 42, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced today in federal court in Yakima, Washington. Chief Judge Stanley A. Bastian sentenced Fielder to 40 months in federal prison, followed by a 3-year term of supervised release. Chief Judge Bastian also ordered that Fielder pay restitution of $14,220.17.
In December 2021, Fielder pled guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a fraudulent scheme that he perpetrated concerning a contract with the United States Army’s Yakima Training Center (YTC), which is used by the Army for maneuver training, Land Warrior system testing and as a live fire exercise area. According to court documents, in 2015, Fielder obtained a contract to perform janitorial services at the YTC in the name of his company, Clean Contracting Services, (CCSI). Because Fielder had been disqualified from federal contracting in 2014, neither he nor CCSI were eligible to receive any federal contracts. Fielder obtained the YTC contract by misrepresenting that he was not affiliated with CCSI.
After obtaining the YTC contract, Fielder contacted Yakima Specialties, a Yakima-based nonprofit that employs individuals with disabilities to perform janitorial and other services at federal facilities, according to court documents. Fielder posed as a government contracting official and told Yakima Specialties that it had received the YTC contract. Posing as a government official, Fielder sent Yakima Specialties a fake YTC contract to perform the work, and included the name and signature of a real government contracting official that Fielder stole from a different contract. Believing it had been awarded the contract, Yakima Specialties performed the work, but was unable to obtain payment because it did not have the real YTC contract. Fielder then billed for and received payment for the work under CCSI.
According to court documents, the YTC contract was one of many contracts that CCSI and Fielder received using the fraudulent scheme described above. In July 2020, Fielder was indicted in the Eastern District of Washington for the fraud on the YTC contract. While Fielder was initially released from custody pending trial, in May 2021, he was subsequently ordered detained by the court for perpetrating a similar scheme in Georgia while on pretrial release, and will remain in custody until his sentence is served.
“Mr. Fielder’s fraud was as brazen as it was widespread, involving dozens of government contracts around the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref. “Through our investigation and prosecution here in the Eastern District of Washington, we were able to hold Mr. Fielder accountable and to protect the public from his fraud, which not only stole from public funds, but harmed non-profit entities such as Yakima Specialties, which exists to employ individuals with disabilities and to perform vital services for the public. Fraud devastates our community’s critical resources. My office will continue to work proactively with our law enforcement partners to stop fraudulent schemes, and I commend the exceptional investigative work and collaboration by this talented and hardworking team of case agents.”
“This sentencing is the result of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s commitment to ensuring that Department of Defense programs and missions are protected from fraudulent actions throughout the procurement process,” stated Special Agent in Charge Cynthia A. Bruce, Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Southeast Field Office. “Individuals who shamelessly violate the integrity of the defense contracting system for their own personal gain will be thoroughly investigated and brought to justice.”
“We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to uncover such deceitful schemes involving federal contracts,” said Special Agent in Charge Terry Pfeifer of the GSA Office of Inspector General.
“Today’s sentencing should serve as a stark reminder that our agents, and those of our partner law enforcement agencies, are unrelenting in their pursuit of those who choose to victimize government contractors through deceit and defrauding the US Army and its Soldiers of full, open, and secure competition within its procurement efforts,” said Special Agent in Charge L. Scott Moreland, Major Procurement Fraud Field Office, US Army Criminal Investigation Division.
The settlement was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division; the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General; the General Services Administration Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General; the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General; the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General; the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General; the Department of State Office of Inspector General; the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General; and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.
Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Fruchter and Tyler H.L. Tornabene of the Eastern District of Washington handled this matter on behalf of the United States.