Four Individuals, Including a Former Miami-Dade County Procurement Employee, Pled Guilty in $5,000,000 Fraud and Kickback Scheme
Four individuals, including a former Miami-Dade County procurement employee pled guilty in a $5,000,000 fraud and kickback scheme.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
Roy Jesus Bustillo, 37, Rolando Perez, 57, and Jose Barroso, 51, all of Miami, pled guilty to a one-count Information charging them with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Bustillo, Perez, and Barroso will be sentenced on January 6, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. Bustillo, Perez, and Barroso face a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years and a fine of up to $250,000. Ygnacio Valdez, 45, of Miami, a former employee in the Procurement Section of the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department, pled guilty to misprision of a felony, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 4. Valdez will be sentenced on December 20, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro. Ygnacio Valdez faces a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 3 years and a fine of $250,000.
According to the court record, including a stipulated statement of facts, Bustillo was the exclusive area representative in South Florida for the sale of certain LED light fixtures. In or about 2010, Ivan Valdes, a co-conspirator who previously pled guilty for his involvement in the scheme, told Barroso that he would request that the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department purchase the light fixtures represented by Bustillo, if he was paid a share of the proceeds. Valdes and Barroso agreed and during the period of 2010 through and including 2015, the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department issued approximately twenty requests for Invitations to Quote for the purchase of millions of dollars of LED light fixtures. Bustillo provided a quote to each of the vendors interested in competing for the Invitation to Quote. Global Electrical & Lighting Supplies, Inc., owned by Rolando Perez, submitted bids and was awarded the contracts for each and every Invitation to Quote issued. Perez and Bustillo had a secret agreement wherein Perez would be the only vendor who knew the actual price that Bustillo had agreed upon with the lighting manufacturer for the light fixtures and that a fake mounting accessory was included in the Invitations to Quote. Knowing the additional profit that was to be received from each of the contracts, Bustillo and Perez were able to win the Invitation to Quote by keeping Perez’ bid price low. In order to help ensure that Perez was awarded each of the contracts, Ivan Valdes paid thousands of dollars in cash to Ygnacio Valdez, whose duties in the procurement section in the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department, included collecting and tallying the bids and declaring the lowest responsive bidder on the Invitations to Quote.
On two occasions, Ivan Valdes instructed Barroso to direct Perez to bid on an Invitation to Quote for light fixtures, but he further instructed that the light fixtures should not be ordered from the lighting manufacturer. Instead, on one occasion the conspirators used light fixtures already in stock at the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department to satisfy the purchase. On the other occasion, no light fixtures were ever provided, not even from those already in stock. Perez bid and won the contracts and he and his co-conspirators were paid approximately $500,000 for light fixtures that were never provided to Miami-Dade County Aviation Department.
During the course of the conspiracy, the co-conspirators defrauded the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department of approximately $5,250,000. Barroso and Ivan Valdes split fraudulent proceeds of approximately $2.2 million. Bustillo, through his companies, received fraudulent proceeds of approximately $764,000. Perez received fraudulent proceeds of approximately $1.8 million.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office and its Public Corruption Unit in connection with the investigation of this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan.