IT contractor gets 14-month prison sentence for bribing federal officials

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The owner of an IT services business has received a 14-month jail sentence for paying bribes to federal and state officials in exchange for favorable treatment on contracts.

Charles M. Thomas was sentenced Tuesday for making the payments to two employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as to an employee of the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

According to court documents, Thomas was the sole owner and president of a Maryland company that provided IT services to federal agencies, as well as educational services to public school children in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Thomas in 2018 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of conspiracy to pay gratuities and to violate the Procurement Integrity Act.

Evidence presented by the government showed that Thomas provided HUD employee Kevin Jones with tickets to sporting events, travel, cash and other items worth more than $50,000, in exchange for Jones providing Thomas and his company with non-public information about pending HUD contracts.

According to government evidence, Thomas also gave a second HUD employee and former supervisor, LaFonda Lewis, tickets to sporting events, designer handbags, cash, and other items, worth more than $23,000 in exchange for non-public information about contracts.

At the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education, government evidence showed that Thomas made about $53,000 in payments to employee Shauntell Harley, in return for non-public information.

Jones, Lewis and Harley were previously sentenced for their involvement in the schemes.

Thomas was sentenced by Judge Randolph D. Moss and as part of his plea agreement is required to pay restitution to the D.C. Superintendent of Education in the amount of $179,999. In his guilty plea, he admitted to carrying out three schemes.

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Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Procurement Integrity Act
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