Bronx Man Pleads Guilty to Offering Bribe to Government Official
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Muhammad Z. Aabdin, age 32, of the Bronx, New York, pled guilty today to offering a bribe to a public official, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Special Agent in Charge Christopher F. Algieri, Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Northeast Field Office.
In pleading guilty, Aabdin admitted that in September 2020, he offered a bribe to a contracting officer with the Veterans Administration (“VA”) in Syracuse. Specifically, Aabdin offered to share profits with the VA contracting officer in exchange for her awarding VA contracts to him for personal protective equipment (“PPE”). Aabdin made the initial bribe offer by email and then reiterated it in subsequent text messages and in a recorded phone conversation with an undercover agent posing as the contracting officer. In text messages dated October 15, 2020, Aabdin offered a bribe of $8,333.33 in the event he received a VA contract for N-95 masks leading to a total profit of $25,000.
The defendant will be sentenced on March 8, 2023 by United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby. Aabdin faces up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
This case was investigated by VA Office of Inspector General, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael F. Perry.