WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) — A Virginia businessman was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the largest domestic bribery and bid-rigging scheme in federal contracting history.
Alex Cho, 43, the former chief technology officer at Nova Datacom, pleaded guilty in September 2011 to bribery and conspiracy charges for his role in a scheme that paid some $30 million in bribes and kickbacks to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials in exchange for lucrative contracts. Cho was ordered to pay the Army Corps of Engineers $7.7 million in restitution and forfeit $6.9 million. He will be place on three years supervised release following his sentence.
Investigators said Cho was one of 20 people involved in the scam. Cho told investigators from 2008 to 2011 Nova Datacom submitted invoices for equipment and services to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for approximately $45 million. Of that amount, he admitted that more than $18 million was inflated or fictitious. Overall, more than $30 million was stolen through the fake invoices, investigators said.
“More than six years after initiating one of the largest procurement fraud cases in history, this sentence demonstrates that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have a long memory when it comes to holding accountable those who engage in bribes and kickbacks,” said Paul M. Abbate, assistant director in charge at the FBI’s Washington field office. “The FBI will continue to diligently work to protect the integrity of our government by pursuing those who seek to violate the system through corruption.”