Contractor Admits Paying Bribe To Get Federal Contracts
CAMDEN, N.J. – A principal of a Pennsylvania construction company pleaded guilty today to paying bribes to the representative of a general contractor to secure contracts for federally subsidized construction projects in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.
Alex Rabinovich, 57, of Richboro, Pa., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez in Camden federal court to Count Four of an eight-count indictment, which charged a conspiracy to make payoffs to a contractor’s representative for receiving favorable treatment when bidding on federal construction projects.
According documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
The defendant and his conspirators were charged with paying cash to a prime contractor’s representative to improperly obtain subcontracts on federally funded construction projects. Between November 2009 and January 2013, Rabinovich and other conspirators paid a Philadelphia contractor’s representative to get “last looks” at other competitors’ bids. This allowed Sands Mechanical of Bristol, Pa., to successfully underbid other subcontractors. A total of $46,200 in bribes/kickbacks was owed for 10 subcontracts awarded to Sands Mechanical. By the summer of 2012, approximately $15,000 was still outstanding for the last two contracts. On two occasions, in November and December 2012, Rabinovich was caught on videotape giving a total of $4,156 in cash to the contractor’s representative to pay down the amounts still due and owing.
Conspiracy to bribe a prime contractor is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2014.
Seven other defendants have previously pleaded guilty to various charges in the indictment ranging from collecting kickbacks, arson and aggravated assault.
Fishman credited special agents of the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Cheryl Garcia; the Department of Labor-Wage and Hour Division, under the direction of George Ference, regional administrator; Naval Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeremy Gauthier, Northeast field office; and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent Seth Neville, Detachment Commander, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Lawrence Krasner Esq., Philadelphia