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News | May 13, 2021

Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Launder $600K from DoD Bribery Scheme

By DCAA Staffwriter

DCAA auditors assisted in an investigation that led to a guilty plea. Liberty Gutierrez pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder the proceeds of a bribery scheme involving a former employee of the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC), and various defense contractors. According to the plea agreement, the NIWC employee solicited and accepted things of value from various defense contractors. Among these gifts were jobs for friends and family, tickets to premier sporting events, and expensive dinners. Gutierrez worked full time at a real estate and mortgage company from April 2015 to February 2021, nonetheless, the NIWC employee obtained full time jobs for her at three different defense contractors. In turn, Gutierrez kicked back over $60K in cash to the NIWC employee. In addition, Gutierrez admitted to doing only minimal work at each of these jobs, and then falsely billing her time as if she were working full time on a government contract. Each of the contractors then passed along Gutierrez’s fraudulent labor charges to the US government for payment. Allegedly, the NIWC employee used his position to steer millions of dollars of contracts to his favored contractors and knowingly approved invoices containing Gutierrez’s fraudulent labor charges. Gutierrez admitted that as part of the conspiracy she received $593,210.09 in salary payments from three contractors, which were intended to promote the bribery scheme and conceal and disguise the nature, source, and ownership of the proceeds of the bribery.

This case is jointly investigated by Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Naval Audit Service and Defense Contract Audit Agency. DCAA assisted the investigation by analyzing voluminous bank statements of various individuals and companies, and reviewing more than 150 contracts by using Power Query and Power BI. This case is still ongoing.

Read the Department of Justice press release here