An indictment issued Wednesday by a federal grand jury alleged five U.S.P.S. supervisors with being paid to illegally steer more than $13 million in repair work on U.S.P.S. vehicles to an unnamed contractor. The arrangement is alleged to have been ongoing over a seven-year period. The supervisors were all charged with bribery and/or conspiracy to commit bribery. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of the alleged illegal payments.

The U.S.P.S. supervisors allegedly accepted thousands of dollars worth of drinks and lap dances at a local strip club, weekly visits with prostitutes, erectile dysfunction drugs, thousands in cash, and tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts including cars, loans, patios, event tickets, and golf outings. These bribes were paid with the understanding that the supervisors would refer the repairs of any U.S.P.S. vehicle to the unnamed contractor.

It is irrelevant whether or not the U.S.P.S. was harmed in the arrangement. So it doesn’t matter that the indictment does not allege any fraudulentr or criminal behavior on the part of the contractor. In fact, it seems as if though the repair and maintenace jobs were fairly priced and adequately performed. Nevertheless, the supervisors face serious amounts of time in a federal prison if the allegations are proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The federal bribery statute, 18 U.S.C. 201(b)(2)(A), criminalizes conduct where a public official, directly or indirectly, corruptly accepts or agrees to accept anything of value in return for being influenced in the performanec of an official act. In this situations the supervisors accepted gifts and cash to refer vehicle repairs to the contractor’s auto shop. The official act influenced was the supervisors’ authority over vehicle maintenance decisions. No other harm is required. Government officials need to act carefully or else risk being swept up by yet another broadly conceived federal criminal statute.

The supervisors implicated in the indictment were identified as Denny Robinson, Bruce Plumb, Gregory Gorski, Jeffery Adams, and Mancer Holmes.

The author of this blog is Erich Ferrari, an attorney specializing in Federal Criminal Defense matters. If you have any questions please contact him at 202-280-6370 or ferrari@ferrari-legal.com.

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