A Rockford, Illinois grand jury indicted a former residential sales manager and two former contractors of a Florida property management company in connection with housing repair contracts for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Justice announced.
The 10-count indictment charged the three men with conspiring to commit bribery and wire fraud which allegedly began at least as early as January 2006 and continued until as late as September 2007. The three also are charged with bribery and wire fraud.
According to court documents, one of the men managed foreclosed properties under contract with the VA, which guaranteed qualifying residential mortgages for veterans. Under his contract with the VA, if a veteran defaulted, he completed necessary repairs and re-sold the property.
According to the charges, the manager would steer housing repair work to companies affiliated with the other men. Other employees were recruited into the scheme and paid bribes, according to the allegations. The men used mail and other electronic transmissions in the commission of the crime, giving rise to the wire fraud charges.
A previous employee pleaded guilty to wire fraud in 2010, in connection with the same VA contract.
The wire fraud charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; the bribery charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison; and the conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The maximum fine for each charge is $250,000.
The charges announced today resulted from an ongoing federal investigation of housing repair contracts performed under contract with the VA.
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