APG Civilian Employee Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes in Exchange for Favorable Actions on Contracts

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore:

Rainier Ramos, age 50, of Bel Air, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to bribery in connection with his duties at the U.S. Army Public Health Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge L. Scott Moreland, Mid-Atlantic Fraud Field Office, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; and Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig, Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service – Mid-Atlantic Field Office.

According to Ramos’ plea agreement, he was a civilian information technology professional at the U.S. Army Public Health Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). Beginning in 2009, Ramos solicited and accepted bribes from the owner and CEO of an information technology company headquartered in McLean, Virginia (the Company). Specifically, Ramos admitted that he sought and accepted, among other things, meals and drinks, rounds of golf, tickets to sporting events, and gift cards. The sporting events included courtside seats to Washington Wizards basketball games, football tickets and access to the company’s luxury suite for Washington Redskins games at FedEx field, tickets to the see the New Orleans Saints play at the Mercedes Benz Dome in New Orleans, and tickets to see the New Orleans Hornets basketball team in New Orleans. In exchange, Ramos admitted that he took official actions favorable to the Company and the owner in relation to the MEDCOM contract, which was worth more than $50 million.

For example, in exchange for bribes from the Company’s owner, Ramos sought contracting opportunities at APG in the spring and summer of 2010, that would allow the Company to develop a track record of performance, in order to increase the likelihood that the Company would be awarded the MEDCOM contract when it was recompeted in 2011. Ramos admitted that he took the following actions in exchange for bribes: influenced the award of a contract to the Company to deploy and configure 70 desktop and laptop computers at APG; recommended that the MEDCOM contract be reserved for companies that were part of the U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) program, – a significant benefit to the Company as a certified 8(a) business; provided the owner of the Company with the winning proposal of the previous contractor on the MEDCOM contract, including pricing data, which was sensitive, proprietary information; and helped write the Statement of Work for the MEDCOM contract to increase the likelihood that the Company would be awarded that contract. On May 20, 2010, in an email to the owner of the Company, Ramos stated, “If there’s any way you can pull off a miracle and switch the 10 Eagles/Skins tickets you have already acquired for 10 Skins/Cowboys tickets, I’ll owe you some serious 8A business. . . . Thanks again for EVERYTHING.”

In August 2011, the solicitation for the MEDCOM contract was issued, and Ramos was selected as the Chairman of the Source Selection Board. In early 2012, Ramos recommended that the contract be awarded to the Company. After the Company was awarded the contract, Ramos approved invoices submitted by the Company under the contract. As of July 2016, the Company was paid almost $37 million by the U.S. government for invoices submitted under the MEDCOM contract.

Ramos faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for bribery. As part of his plea agreement Ramos is required to pay a money judgment of at least $33,000, and pay restitution in the full amount of the victim’s losses. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled Ramos’ sentencing for July 12, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

The National Procurement Fraud Task Force was formed in October 2006 to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The Procurement Fraud Task Force includes the United States Attorneys? Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community and a number of other federal law enforcement agencies. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrate the Department of Justice’s commitment to helping ensure the integrity of the government procurement process.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the FBI, Army CID, and DCIS for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo J. Wise, who is prosecuting the case.

Comments

  1. Harford Resident says

    What an idiot. As a Federal employee, I wouldn’t even accept a cup of coffee from a contractor. Why would I risk a 30+ year career and pension benefits for tickets to a stupid football game? I hope this guy gets the full 15 years in the slammer. He deserves it Somebody once said to me, “you can’t fix stupid.”

    17+
    • Mike Hedrick says

      You must admit that 15 years for some football tickets is a bit much. Mr. Ramos and his family have already paid dearly for his actions and more is yet to come.

      1+
  2. Ms. Moderate says

    The company was in the wrong as well. They knew that paying forward was illegal and I see nothing to indicate they have been charged. Of course they had a luxury suite at RFK so finding out who the company was wouldn’t be that difficult. Still, big business gets away without penalty while the worm gets crushed.

    7+
    • Concerned contractor says

      The company name is in the paperwork attached. Link Solutions. This makes all contractors look bad.

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    • Scummy DoD Contractor says

      Just to clarify, the company was 8A which means *small disadvantaged* (a.k.a. minority owned) business certification–NOT BIG BUSINESS. What makes it even worse, is that 8A companies already are given preferential treatment (e.g. non-competed sole source contracts) over other small businesses (i.e. not minority) and big businesses. SMH

      7+
  3. Umpa says

    Risking all that over tickets and golf? It isn’t even like this stuff is in a gray area of what can be accepted from a contractor. As a manager/supervisor, clearly he knew he was breaking the law. Even taking snacks or coffee provided by a contractor at a meeting should make a federal employee think twice, let alone tickets to sporting events and golf outings.

    8+
  4. Former contractor says

    I was on that contract! Where is my restitution?!? He sold us out for golf, some fancy lunches/dinners and tickets to sporting events. In a sick way I hoped when the curtain would be pulled back to find out he had taken in millions to so disrupt our lives only to find out he sold us down the river for little its insulting!

    13+
    • Mike Hedrick says

      Not sure why you would deserve restitution. As far as I know, the company was either the low bidder or next to lowest bidder, so why would you have been hurt by the outcome? The only ones that have a right to restitution are the companies that were in the bidding and not really given a fair chance.

      1+
    • Jess says

      Your Restitution!!!! Give me a break! Your lucky you got to be employed for the term of the contract! Just think, you could have been in the unemployment line!

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    • Jess says

      Your Restitution!!! Your lucky you were on that contract and you got to be employed!! You could have ended up in the unemployment line!! You should be thanking that guy! If anyone has any bit of intelligence you will know that this article was overly exaggerated! Only in AMERICA!!!!!!

      0
  5. Jay says

    Seriously is this any worse than selling illegal sportswear with forged signatures on them ? It’s not like these tickets were worth millions of dollars.

    Give the guy a restaurant and lets move on.

    0
    • Citizen in the Know says

      Jay, of course it’s worse. This scheme resulted in Link Solutions STEALING millions of dollars from taxpayers and affected the lives of the folks who were performing on the contract that was being recompeted. Those folks (working on the contract for CSC) didn’t even have a chance. What about them? You clearly don’t understand the full implications of this.

      1. The contracting officer got stuff.
      2. The business (Link Solutions) got a contract it didn’t deserve worth millions of dollars.
      3. BW, the owner of Link Solutions, made millions and is living the life of Riley in his ivory tower.
      4. The taxpayers whose money goes to paying these contracts may be getting an inferior product from the contractor.
      5. The people who were working for CSC in the Aberdeen Proving Ground area were unemployed (in an area where the only REAL work is contracting on APG.)

      It’s a waterfall of events. These folks should all be in jail.

      1+
        • Citizen in the Know says

          Are you sure about that? Or were their CPARS also doctored to make it seem that they did a better job than they did? Once the credibility of the contracting office is called into question, you really cannot be sure. The lack of ethics leads down a very slippery slope and injects anything to do with this contract and its performance with a level of doubt.

          That’s really sad, because I am certain that Link Solutions’ employees are fine, hardworking people whose work doesn’t deserve to be questioned. But still, it will (and should) occur.

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        • Former contractor says

          Having worked on the contract in question, i can tell you that LSI screwed the pooch and had no idea what they were doing. Bhupesh had an exit strategy in mind on day 1 on how to take money from the government and run.

          3+
        • Same old Stuff says

          It is true that we are not sure if the contract was lower in price. AS a contractor on the contract as well, LSi picked us up, higher medical, benefits horrible, and as a result, most of the best developers left (there are a couple still left). Therefore, what kind of product is being delivered to PHC with a smaller developer team? Isn’t that wasting taxpayer money? Employees lost tenure with employers as well. List goes on.

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      • Mike Hedrick says

        1. How do you know this? Contracting Officer was never charged. Evidence???

        2. As best I know, LS was either the lowest bidder or close to it. No evidence that they did an inferior job. Only people that have a real bitch are the other bidders on the contract. American tax payers really didn’t get screwed.

        3. Owner of LS is most likely going to jail and will lose the right to ever bid on another government contract again.

        4. See 2.

        5. In the vast majority of service contracts like this a large percentage of the current employees are hired by the incoming contractor. Don’t know the specifics of this particular contract but suspect that very few were actually let go.

        1+
        • Citizen in the Know says

          1. I’m sorry, I misspoke. I meant “member of the Source Selection Board.” At any rate, an influencer/decision maker employed by the Government got stuff in return for “favors.”

          2. “Former Contractor” is the one who said they screwed pooch. I wonder, though, if their CPARS were doctored by someone influenced by Ramos.

          3. One could only hope that the owner of LS is most likely going to jail and will lose the right to ever bid on another government contract again. He has already stepped down from his position as CEO. He is still the owner. I’d be interested to see the outcome and will agree to stand by to see how this unfolds.

          4. See 2.

          5. Being a member of this community, I understand that in many service contracts, incumbents are flipped to the new contractor. I would love to find out the percentage of people who were asked to stay. If LSi’s rates were that low, they may not have been able to maintain those folks at their present salary. Which basically screws over the incumbent employees who may be doing a great job. Again, I’d love to find out the truth.

          0
  6. Death of Democracy says

    The losses in jobs and livelihoods this idiot caused is something he could never make restitution for. Better to hang his lifeless body from the nearest lamppost entering APG. If anyone from the company was aware of the gifts given, they too should be hanging from a lamppost beside him. They are a disgrace and dishonor to us all.

    3+
  7. Henry Bankshaft says

    Once upon a time there was a goat faced girl with goofy hair that thought her shit didn’t stink. Her and the perpetrator liked to rub their downtown entertainment districts together. People like this do not care about anyone other than themselves. I just hope the DOJ goes after them all. They are failed baseball bat abortions whose birth certificates are an apology from the condom factory.

    8+
  8. quantum says

    Lets boil this BS down. Here we have someone who who wrongfully accepted gifts that don’t amount to anything in comparison to the size of the contract. He helped a company get their foot in the door by supplying them with information so they would be the competitive bidder on a government contract. What this translates into is a savings for the American taxpayers.

    It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out the company that was gouging the taxpayers dropped a dime when their cushy revenue steam dried up.

    For saving the taxpayers money for some sports tickets he gets to go to jail. Only in America.

    5+
    • quantum leap says

      A rocket surgeon? Wow. Did you read the nonsense you just wrote. You are condoning fraud and bribery. You’re a joker – a rocket surgeon joker.

      4+
    • Citizen in the Know says

      Hmmmm….so you’re saying this guy should get off scott free? I don’t think so. It’s dirty. If the Contracting Officer is willing to do this for “so little,” what else is he willing to do? And if BW is willing to do this, knowing it’s illegal, what other illegal things would he be willing to do?

      1+
      • quantum says

        What is wrong with idiots like yourself. Who said anywhere or even implied he should get off scott free? It’s no wonder at the success of fake news like Fox, morons like you can make up anything you want and claim it to be true.

        You are the basic problem with todays society.

        2+
        • Citizen in the Know says

          Quantum, please re-read your initial comment. You are really the basic problem with today’s society. One lacking in the ability to express oneself intelligibly in the written form. In other words, perhaps your words didn’t correctly express what you meant. Oh well, it really doesn’t matter, does it?

          0
          • quantum says

            Yea your lack of comprehension skills is clearly all my fault right along with your lack of personal responsibility.

            Frigin classic…..

            1+
      • Mike Hedrick says

        This “guy” isn’t getting off scott free. He and his family have already paid dearly for his wrongdoing and more is yet to come. Not sure where or how the figure for restitution was calculated but, if a government employee (yes, I was one)did it, you can be sure that it’s exaggerated, to say the least.

        1+
  9. Anonymous Reality check says

    The real sad truth here is that I knew the guy involved from the Govt side and he is actually a very nice guy who I have known for 10 years. I am in IT, never sold him 1 product, but all of us in Sales, in IT try to have “relationships” with our customers. We are all brainwashed in the notion that he/she who owns the end user relationship will get the business. Bottom line he has a family and kids, is honestly a very good person who accepted things he shouldn’t have. For those talking about hanging his body up, get a F-Ing grip. You are prob the same people ready to shoot someone on the highway for cutting in front of you. Of course what happened here is wrong, but reality check for all of you, take a closer look at Wash. D.C. And tell me how many Senators and Congressman should be in jail for this same thing but aren’t.

    8+
    • says

      Yeah, well the Congress has made it legal for themselves to accept ‘bribes’ in the form of contributions, speaking fees, ‘educational trips’, etc.

      As Orwell wrote, “All animals are equal but SOME animals are more equal than others.”

      3+
      • Keesha Jackson says

        Judy,

        I always thought it was “All pigs are equal but…”.

        I actually checked it out (Animal Farm chapter 10) and you are right. Again. But in the situation we are talking about with politicians there is little difference.

        0
  10. Jess says

    Are you Serious!!!!! They actually wasted time on publishing something like this!!! Boring!!! This shit goes on daily in the government!! I was a witness to several government employees accepting gratuities all the time!! The sad part is this poor guy got caught!! And you all know who you are!! What a shame, when we ALL know this is what goes on at APG all the time! Tragic!

    2+

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