A long-time employee of the Department of Housing and Urban Development will serve two years in prison after admitting to accepting numerous bribes, including tickets to three different Super Bowls, thousands of dollars in cash, and other gifts, in exchange for providing information about government contracts to a private business owner.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Kevin Jones pleaded guilty earlier this year to a federal bribery charge stemming from a scheme in which he provided non-public information about pending HUD contracts to a business owner in exchange for tickets to sporting events, travel, and cash.
Jones began working at HUD in 1999 and until recently, served as a contract oversight specialist. In this role, Jones served as the point of contact for certain contracts and reviewing contractor performance. As part of his job, Jones had access to bid, proposal, and source selection information about a number of HUD contracts.
And according to the authorities, Jones used that access to provide information about those HUD contracts to Charles Thomas, the sole owner and president of a company in Maryland that provided technology services to agencies of the federal government and educational services to public school children in the Washington, D.C., area.
As part of his plea agreement, Jones admitted that between at least 2010 and 2018, Thomas provided Jones with tickets to sporting events, travel, and money in exchange for Jones providing Thomas and his company with non-public information about pending HUD contracts.
Specifically, from 2010 through 2017, Thomas and his company provided Jones with a variety of gifts and benefits, including more than $17,000 worth of tickets to Washington Redskins games and three Super Bowls; $1,700 in Washington Wizards tickets, more than $3,200 in hotel accommodations; more than $3,600 in travel expenses, more than $13,000 in cash and checks, meals, a camera, and a pair of basketball shoes.
In exchange for those bribes, Jones provided Thomas with information and recommendations that provided Thomas with an “unfair competitive advantage” in obtaining two contracts valued at more than $4.5 million.
Beyond that, Jones personally approved invoices totaling nearly $3.8 million for work done under one of the two contracts.
As part of his plea agreement, Jones will serve 24 months in prison. Jones is also required to pay a forfeiture of $50,302.75, which represents the value of the gifts and benefits he received.
Following his prison term, Jones will be placed on three years of supervised release and complete 100 hours of community service.
In a related prosecution, another former HUD employee, LaFonda Lewis, was sentenced to just over a year in prison for providing non-public information about pending HUD contract to Thomas in exchange for money, tickets to sporting events, and other things of value. Lewis was a former supervisory contract oversight specialist.
Thomas pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of conspiracy to pay gratuities and violate the Procurement Integrity Act. In his guilty plea, Thomas admitted to paying bribes to the two former HUD employees. Thomas is awaiting sentencing.