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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Oakland Building Project Consultant Sentenced To 12 Months In Prison For Conspiracy And Receiving Bribes

SAN FRANCISCO – Taj Armon Reid was sentenced to 12 months in prison for conspiracy and receiving bribes, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson; Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett; and Department of Energy Office of the Inspector General, Inspector General Teri L. Donaldson.  The sentence was handed down today by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Court Judge.

After a four-day jury trial, a federal jury found Reid, 48, of Oakland, guilty of the crimes on May 24, 2018.  Reid was a construction consultant and business partner with Eric Worthen, 46, of Pleasant Hill, who, at the time, was also an employee of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).  The evidence at trial demonstrated Reid received bribes on two occasions in connection with business being offered by CalVet.  The jury also concluded Reid conspired with Worthen to receive the bribes. 

The evidence at trial showed that Reid accepted cash from a source on April 18, and again on May 8.  In April, Reid offered a developer an inside advantage on two CalVet construction projects in exchange for $10,000 cash.  Specifically, Reid offered to use Worthen’s position at CalVet to circumvent the normal bidding process for a residential home project in Ventura, Calif.  The May transaction involved a kitchen remodel project at the veterans’ home in West Los Angeles.  On this occasion, Reid and Worthen accepted $2,000 cash in exchange for providing to the developer inside information that the co-conspirator took from the CalVet office.  Unbeknownst to Reid and Worthen, the “developer” to whom they were providing an inside track on the CalVet contracts was a source working under the direction of the FBI and posing as a developer willing to pay bribes in order to obtain contracts with public agencies.  At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found Reid guilty of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and two counts of receiving a bribe or reward, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B).  

In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer ordered Reid to serve 3 years of supervised release.  

Worthen pleaded guilty in August of 2017 to his part in the conspiracy and for taking bribes.  Judge Breyer scheduled his sentencing for November 6, 2019.  

The case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, with assistance from the Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General.
 

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Public Corruption
Updated June 26, 2019