President of Puerto Rican-based Engineering Company Pleads Guilty to Procurement Fraud and Kickbacks Related to Federal Courthouse Repairs in St. Croix
St. Thomas, USVI – United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands announced today that Reinaldo Cruz Taura, president of Puerto Rico-based RCT Mechanical Engineering, pleaded guilty to providing kickbacks in connection with federal government subcontracts to perform work on the federal building and courthouse in St. Croix, VI and on coast guard facilities in Puerto Rico. Taura will be sentenced at a later date.
According to court documents filed in the case, from June 2011 through June 2015, Taura paid over $1.2 million in kickbacks to a senior project manager for the prime contractor on the St. Croix and Puerto Rico projects. In addition, Taura falsely inflated the expenses billed under the subcontract in order to cover the costs of the aforementioned kickbacks.
This case is being investigated by the General Services Administration – Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Veterans Affairs - Office of the Inspector General, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Department of Agriculture – Office of the Inspector General, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nathan Brooks and Jennifer Blecher.