Defendant Admits Taking More Than $140,000 to Channel Money to Consultant,Despite Suspicions About Invoices
WASHINGTON – A former employee of the District of Columbia Department of Human Resources pled guilty today to a federal bribery charge for accepting more than $140,000 in bribes from a consultant and independent contractor who did business with the government.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and District of Columbia Inspector General Daniel W. Lucas.
Latasha Moore, 38, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty before the Honorable Dabney L. Friedrich in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The charge of bribery carries a statutory maximum of 15 years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Moore faces a possible range of 70 to 87 months in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to a statement of offense submitted at the plea hearing, Moore started work in 2002 for the D.C. Department of Human Resources; in 2012, she was promoted to the position of resource allocation analyst. In that role, among other duties, she was the main point of contact for a government contractor that had agreements with the District of Columbia Department of Human Resources to provide organizational skills training courses and human resources consulting to various D.C. government agencies.
As noted in the statement of offense, Moore and a consultant employed by the company engaged in a scheme in which Moore agreed to protect the government contracts held by the company and ensure that no complaints about its performance reached others in the District of Columbia government. The scheme began in approximately July 2014 and ran through August 2017. In return for her actions, according to the statement of offense, Moore accepted more than $140,000 from the consultant in checks and a PayPal money transfer.
According to the statement of offense, Moore had suspicions about more than $1 million in invoices that the consultant submitted from March 2015 through June 2017. Nonetheless, in return for the money the consultant paid her, Moore advised other D.C. government officials to approve the invoices for payment. As the scheme continued, according to the statement of offense, the company discovered that the consultant was acting on his own and retaining the profits for himself. Although Moore knew of the company’s concerns, she did not relay them to her supervisors and continued to advise other government officials to approve the consultant’s invoices.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu, Assistant Director in Charge McNamara, and Inspector General Lucas commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Office of the Inspector General of the District of Columbia. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Marando, who is prosecuting the matter.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Thursday, October 11, 2018.