U.S. Army Employee At Picattiny Arsenal Charged With Conspiracy To Defraud The United States And To Accept Bribes
NEWARK, N.J. – A Pennsylvania man was charged today with abusing his position as an employee of the U.S. Army Contracting Command New Jersey by accepting bribes in connection with renovation projects at Picattiny Arsenal (PICA) and at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix Lakehurst (Ft. Dix), Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Kevin Leondi, 56, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was arrested today at PICA. He is charged by complaint with knowingly and intentionally conspiring to defraud the United States and to demand, seek, receive, accept, and agree to accept bribes in return for being influenced in the performance of his official duties. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint:
Leondi represented the Army as a liaison with contractors on renovation projects at PICA and Ft. Dix. A contractor (Contractor No. 1) owned and operated a construction company in Pennsylvania that had subcontracts with a business (Company No. 1) that operated as a prime contractor with respect to various construction projects at PICA and Fort Dix. From December 2010 through August 2015, Leondi demanded and accepted more than $125,000 in bribes from Contractor No. 1 in return for assisting Contractor No. 1 obtain and retain subcontracts and other favorable assistance at PICA and Fort Dix. The bribes included direct payments by Contractor No.1 to Leondi, Contractor No. 1’s purchase of unneeded equipment from Leondi at inflated prices, and Contractor No. 1’s payment for construction work done by another contractor at Leondi’s personal property. Leondi also demanded and accepted more than $30,000 in bribes from someone who managed large-scale construction projects (Project Manager No. 1) for Contractor No. 1. The bribes included cash payments as well as the purchase by Leondi of a truck from Contractor No. 1 at a significantly discounted price.
Leondi also directed Contractor No. 1 to perform free construction work at Project Manager No. 1’s home in Pennsylvania and to pay Project Manager No. 1 approximately $50,000 to help Project Manager No. 1 pay his mortgage.
The conspiracy count with which Leondi is charged carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Leigh Barzey; and the U.S. Army, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, Criminal Investigation Command, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Larry Scott Moreland, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Leslie Faye Schwartz, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Llanes, Deputy Chief, General Crimes Unit, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division, in Newark.
Defense counsel: Ernest D. Preate, Jr. Scranton, Pennsylvania