DENVER – A former Veterans Affairs worker who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes so that his accomplices would gain an unfair advantage in the VA contracting process was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in federal prison.
A former Veterans Affairs employee in Colorado who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for rigging federal contracts has been sentenced to a year and a half in prison.
During his sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson said 55-year-old Dwane Nevins will also have to serve three years of supervised release for corruption offenses, according to a news release from U.S. attorney’s office in Denver.
Court records showed Nevins agreed to take bribes offered by co-defendants Robert Revis, Anthony Bueno, and an undercover FBI agent, to help them manipulate a contract bidding process while working as a small business specialist at the VA’s Network Contracting Office in Colorado.
The records showed Revis and Bueno, working alongside Nevins, agreed to submit fraudulent bids from service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses under contract with their consulting company so that federal contracts would be set aside for only those companies, the release stated.
The US attorney’s office said the trio worked in unison to hide the nature of the bribes by either kicking back to Nevins a portion of the payments made to their consulting company, or by asking their consulting company’s clients to pay Nevins for sham training classes related to federal contracting.
During one of those sham training classes, Nevis reportedly accepted $4,500 in cash bribes from an undercover FBI agent.
The news release states that after complaining about not receiving payment by Revis and Bueno for participating in the scheme, Nevis used his position at the VA to extort money from an undercover FBI agent, telling him that, “the train don’t go without me. You know what I mean? I’m the engine. I’m the caboose. I’m the engine room.”
Nevins also told the undercover agent that “this is a business and businessmen need to get paid… so I can have my Christmas, you know what I’m saying?” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Bueno was previously sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for the same crimes, plus an additional 63 for his role in another wire fraud scheme case for which he was indicted.
Revis pleaded guilty in April 2019 to a single count of supplementing the salary of a federal official. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 2, 2020.