Fourth Individual in NYPA Big-Rigging Scandal Comes Forward, Faces up to Three Years and $250,000

Washington, D.C.-  The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has recently come under multilateral investigation over allegations of bid rigging, tax fraud, and market fixture.  The DOJ, IRS, and New York Inspector General are all working jointly in this case and have subsequently made their fourth indivdual charge.  John Simonlacaj (White Plains, NY) has confessed to aiding the NYPA in filing false tax returns and now faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The original article is reproduced below with its link following.


Fourth Individual Charged in Ongoing New York Power Authority Procurement Fraud Investigation

The Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the New York State Inspector General, which are all conducting a joint federal and state investigation into bid-rigging, fraud and tax-related offenses in the award of contracts at the New York Power Authority (NYPA), announced today that a Westchester County, New York, resident pleaded guilty today to aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return.

According to the one-count felony charge filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in White Plains, New York, John Simonlacaj caused another individual to file a Form 1040 for the tax year 2010 that substantially understated that individual’s taxable income.  Simonlacaj pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“Our investigation into bid rigging and fraud by companies supplying the New York Power Authority has uncovered a variety of criminal activity,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse, head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “Filing a false tax return is a serious offense and we are pleased to have worked with our partners in law enforcement to prosecute the criminal violation.”

“We say many times the FBI won’t stop until we find everyone responsible for their roles in a criminal investigation,” said Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez of the FBI’s New York Field Office.  “These charges prove our tenacity in digging until we hit the bottom of the pile and uncover anyone who had a part in criminal wrongdoing.”

“Today’s plea marks yet another defendant admitting guilt following a bid rigging investigation that began at the state level. My office and those of my federal law enforcement partners, will continue to follow the evidence wherever it may lead,” said New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott.

“Mr. Simonlacaj is now held accountable for his role in filing a false tax return,” said Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen of the IRS Criminal Investigation New York Field Office.  “Towards pursuing its goal of ensuring that that everyone pays their fair share of taxes, IRS Criminal Investigation remains committed to this ongoing investigation.”

The investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s New York Office with the assistance of the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and the New York State Office of the Inspector General.  NYPA is cooperating with the investigation.  Anyone with information on bid rigging or other anticompetitive conducted related to the award or performance of municipal and state contracts should contact the Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center at 888-647-3258 or visit http://www.just

Original Link


Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Disclosing Confidential Bid Information for Government Contracts and Tax Fraud

A retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to unlawfully disclosing confidential procurement information and filing a false tax return, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

Trevor Smith retired from the U.S. Air Force in December 2012, according to court documents and statements made in open court.  From February 2009 through February 2010, Smith was deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as Supply Non-Commissioned Officer-In-Charge for the Operation Enduring Freedom/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan NATO Training Mission.  In that capacity, Smith met a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based government contractor and agreed to disclose confidential bid information on government contracts to the contractor in exchange for bribe payments.  Smith and the contractor agreed that Smith would receive two percent of all revenues on contracts that the contractor received as a result of Smith’s assistance.

In January 2010, the contractor wired $42,853.29 to Smith.  The two agreed to wait until Smith returned to the United States for more payments.  After returning to the United States, Smith set up a shell corporation called T Star Air Inc. to receive 23 additional payments totaling $220,600.  Smith also created and submitted phony invoices to conceal the scheme.  For tax years 2010 through 2012, Smith filed corporate tax returns for T Star Air that falsely claimed inflated expenses and deductions.

At his Jan. 5, 2016 sentencing, Smith faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison for disclosing confidential procurement information and three years in prison for filing a false tax return.  He could also be fined up to $500,000 or twice the gain from his crimes.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended special agents of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General, who investigated this case and Trial Attorneys Charles M. Edgar Jr. and Jason H. Poole of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting this case.  Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida for their substantial assistance.

GeyerGorey LLP Issues Updated Representative Matters List; Experience is Wide and Deep

Representative Matters

Our attorneys have led and participated in some of the highest profile matters in the past decade, both while in the government and in private practice. We have been involved in the most significant criminal cartel cases, the most important mergers, the most notable civil antitrust investigations, the largest procurement fraud cases, and game-changing antitrust cases that reached the United States Supreme Court. Our collective experience stands as a testament to our work ethic, our drive for excellence, and the trust and responsibility we have been given by our clients and the government.

International Cartels:

  • Led investigation and prosecution of marine contractors engaged in conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition to install deep sea oil platforms
  • Led investigation and prosecution of international freight forwarders engaged in conspiracy to fix prices on international air cargo shipments
  • Led investigation and prosecution of household-goods moving contractors engaged in conspiracy to fix prices for international moving services provided to Department of Defense
  • Investigation and prosecution of graphite electrodes manufacturers
  • Investigation and prosecution of ocean shipping companies
  • Investigation and prosecution of a FTSE 250 engineering company that resulted in the indictment, extradition and conviction of its former chief executive
  • Defended foreign construction company in investigation and prosecution of alleged billion-dollar bid rigging scheme, in related qui tam litigation, and in other related matters
  • Defended foreign vitamin manufacturers in investigations and prosecutions of alleged international price-fixing agreements
  • Defended foreign specialty chemical manufacturers in investigations and prosecutions of alleged international price-fixing agreements
  • Defended U.S.-based executive of foreign company in criminal and civil litigation related to his alleged role in an international cartel to fix prices in the marine supply industry
  • Defended foreign executive of foreign company in criminal and civil litigation related to his alleged role in the conspiracy to fix air cargo rates around the world
  • Defended international freight forwarder in criminal litigation related to its alleged role in an international conspiracy to rig bids on U.S. military shipping contracts
  • Investigation and subsequent prosecution of foreign vitamin manufacturers for price fixing conspiracy

Domestic Price Fixing and Bid Rigging:

  • Defended electrical products manufacturer in first felony prosecution under the Sherman Act and in civil treble damage litigation
  • Represented a class of nurses in litigation against a hospital association and a number of Arizona hospitals
  • Represented the State of Ohio against a number of dairies for allegedly rigging bids of school milk
  • Investigation and prosecution of highway paving contractors in multiple districts for bid rigging
  • Investigation and prosecution of military insignia providers supplying the Army Air Force Exchange System with over 4,000 items of insignia
  • Represented metal drum manufacturer in prosecution for price fixing
  • Investigation of polypropylene bag manufacturers and that resulted in the prosecution of a manufacturer for Buy American Act violations and conspiracy to defraud
  • Investigation and prosecution of nearly 40 cases against paving contractors for conspiring to rig bids in connection with federal and state highway and airport contracts
  • Investigation and prosecution of an auction rigging conspiracy involving auto parts to by the Department of Defense at Defense Reutilization Marketing Offices (DRMO)
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple electrical construction contractors for conspiring to rig bids for major power wiring contracts associated with steel mills and waste water treatment plants
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple wholesale grocery companies and bid managers for rigging bids to school districts, hospitals and jails in southern Texas
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple dairies for rigging bids for school milk sold to districts in Louisiana
  • Investigation and prosecution of crawfish processors for fixing prices paid to crawfish farmers and fishermen
  • Investigation and prosecution of bribery conspiracy involving the reconstruction of the New Orleans levee system after Hurricane Katrina
  • Investigation and prosecution of fire protective services company and its president
  • Investigation and prosecution of an Iraq-based general construction bid rigging scheme
  • Investigation and prosecution of conspiracy to solicit kickback scheme involving security services on a US Agency for International Development contract
  • Investigation and prosecution of fuel theft from an overseas United States military facility
  • Investigation and prosecution of a Europe-based scheme to defraud the Iraqi government by facilitating the fraudulent claim for payment of armored vehicles that were never delivered
  • Represented individual accused of defrauding government defense agency out of hundreds of thousands of dollars of grant money
  • Represented company accused of defrauding government by failing to supply vitamin-enriched food products with the proper level of enrichment
  • Represented large computer software company in internal investigation of improper influence on government contracting process

General Criminal:

  • Defended CEO and three closely-held companies in a multi-state racketeering and tax fraud prosecution
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple labor racketeering cases ranging from prosecutions of United Mine Worker Union officials for theft of union funds used to pay for the murder of a political opponent of the union president to the prosecution of two Boston-based racketeers for actions associated with their travel to California in connection with a union organizing effort at a San Rafael newspaper
  • Investigation and prosecution of the mayor of a New Jersey town for taking bribes in connection with the permitting of a tank farm at the terminus point of a major Gulf Coast to East Coast pipeline
  • Investigation and prosecution of the most prolific serial bank robber in United States history
  • Investigation and prosecution of the murder for hire of a government witness and one of the largest cocaine importation conspiracies East of the Mississippi River
  • Investigation and prosecution of numerous gun, drug and false identity cases
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple obstructions of justice, contempt, false statement, witness tampering and perjury cases arising out of grand jury investigations
  • Investigation and prosecution of bank fraud cases
  • Represented individuals before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in appeals from criminal convictions (more than a dozen cases)
  • Defended individual in intelligence community in investigation by DCIS for alleged violations of public corruption statutes (18 U.S.C §§ 207 & 208)
  • Defended individual in criminal investigation by Inspector General of NASA
  • Defended individual in federal bribery investigation
  • Defended government contractor in investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture
  • Defended several regional hospitals in various unrelated federal investigations of allegedly fraudulent billing practices, Stark violations
  • Represented hospital CEO in investigation of alleged Stark violations
  • Represented pathology laboratory in healthcare fraud investigation
  • Represented national healthcare company in investigation of allegedly criminal off-label marketing
  • Represented various individuals in applications for presidential pardons

Mergers and Acquisitions:

  • Represented Warner Music in connection with the proposed acquisition of EMI by Universal Music
  • Represented DISH Network in opposition to the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T
  • Represented Merck in connection with its acquisition of Schering Plough
  • Represented Simon Properties in connection with its acquisition of Prime Outlets
  • Obtained antitrust clearance in the acquisition of Liquid Container by Graham Packaging
  • Obtained consent decree against nuclear engineering firm which had acquired another firm with the same engineering specialty
  • Represented major home healthcare provider in acquisition valued in excess of $500 million
  • Represented pathology laboratory in merger valued in excess of $100 million
  • Represented foreign mining company in acquisition of US coal mines valued over $1 billion
  • Represented hospital management company in acquisition valued in excess of $500 million
  • Represented individual in several acquisitions of stock each valued in excess of $100 million
  • Represented major over-the-counter pharmaceutical company in four different acquisitions over several years whose values ranged from over $100 million to over $500 million
  • Represented national restaurant chain in acquisition valued at about $1 billion
  • Represented regional hospital chain in acquisition of a hospital valued above $50 million
  • Represented hospital valued in excess of $100 million in sale to state hospital system

Civil Antitrust Matters:.

  • Defended large telecommunications provider in three week trial for alleged exclusionary conduct directed towards telecom services resellers.
  • Represented large telecommunications provider as plaintiff in case alleging monopolization of market for telecom switch software.
  • Represented leading music copyright licensing organization in a decade-long investigation by the Department of Justice
  • Led the investigation of Ticketmaster at the Department of Justice
  • Led major, successful prosecution by United States Department of Justice of conspiracy among twenty-four leading market-makers in NASDAQ stocks, including Goldman, Sachs & Co. and J. P. Morgan Securities,  Inc. who had conspired to maintain spreads between buying and selling prices of NASDAQ stocks
  • Defended large telecommunications provider in multi-year litigation brought by competitive telecom carrier alleging monopolization of market for high speed data services
  • Led successful investigation and prosecution of Salomon Bros Inc. and two hedge funds, Caxton Corporation and Steinhardt Partners, LP, to limit the supply of two-year Treasury notes to the “repo,” or “repurchase agreement,” market
  • Successfully brought the Reagan Administrations ‘s first challenge to a merger (brewing industry)
  • Successfully represented the United States in a litigated matter challenging field of use restrictions in patent licensing agreement in specialty chemicals
  • Successfully represented the United States in challenge to professional rules of conduct limiting competition among accountants in Texas
  • Successfully represented the United States in challenge to acquisition by Texaco, Inc. of an independent oil refining company
  • Represented high-tech electronic service provider with respect to antitrust issues in a bet-the-company patent infringement case
  • Represented sporting goods manufacturer in vacating a consent decree
  • Represented leading music copyright pool in civil antitrust investigation leading to vacating of an earlier consent decree and modification of another consent decree
  • Represented hospital CEO in litigation arising from denial of physician staff privileges

Antitrust Compliance Counseling:

  • Advised large telecommunications provider on its price and product bundling
  • Advised large telecom provider in connection with a joint venture of three carriers to entire the mobile payments market with mobile phones
  • Advised major manufacturer of household appliances on antitrust compliance
  • Advised major manufacturer of high-end kitchen appliances on antitrust compliance
  • Advised major manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceutical on antitrust compliance
  • Advised regional airport on state action doctrine and compliance with antitrust laws
  • Advised national trade association on antitrust compliance and Noerr-Pennington doctrine
  • Advised international shipping company on compliance regarding competition, fraud, and foreign corrupt practices
  • Advised African government on contracting and anti-fraud and anti-corruption best practices

Other Civil Litigation:

  • Represented Haiti in multinational investigation and litigation leading to the recovery of money stolen by its former president Jean-Claude Duvalier
  • Represented developers in multiple appeals involving alleged illegal cooperative conversion terms
  • Defended law firm in $10 million professional malpractice action
  • Defended various healthcare providers in numerous different federal investigations of alleged fraud, related qui tam cases, and related whistleblower termination actions
  • Defended CMS contractor in qui tam case
  • Represented regional Medicare Advantage organization in suit against the U.S. Government
  • Defended book distributor and publisher in defamation case
  • Defended author in defamation case
  • Represented gaming company in civil rights action relating to state gaming regulations
  • Defended copyright and trademark owner in intellectual property litigation
  • Defended local retailer of gray market goods in trademark infringement litigation
  • Represented major multinational corporation in suit seeking refund of local corporate franchise tax
  • Represented government contractor in appeal of denial of security clearance
  • Defended employers in cases alleging violation of wage-and-hour statute
  • Represented developers in multiple appeals involving alleged illegal cooperative conversion terms
  • Defended employer in case alleging employment discrimination
  • Defended employer in case alleging sexual harassment
  • Defended employers in cases alleging unlawful discharge

Experience by Industry:

  • Air Cargo
  • Aircraft Parts (Domestic)
  • Airlines
  • Airport Contracts
  • Automobile Dealers (Domestic)
  • Airlines
  • Asset Forfeiture
  • Auction Rigging (Multiple Industries)
  • Banking (International)
  • Baked Goods (Domestic)
  • Baking Soda
  • Book Publishing
  • Bridge Construction
  • Carbon Products
  • Caustic Soda
  • Cell Towers (Domestic)
  • Chemicals (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Clothing and Textiles (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Computer Software
  • Construction (Domestic and International)
  • Copyright and Trademark
  • Dairy Products
  • Deep sea Oil Platforms
  • Democratization Programs
  • Electrical Products
  • Embassy Construction
  • Engineering
  • Export-Import Bank Clients (Multiple Industries, International)
  • Food Service Contracts (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Financial Institutions (Domestic and International)
  • Fire Protection Services
  • Freight Forwarding (Domestic and International)
  • Fuel Supply (Domestic and International)
  • General Construction (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Government Contracts (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Graphite Electrodes
  • Highway Construction
  • Hospitals
  • Housing Foreclosure Auctions (Domestic)
  • Information Technology (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Industrial Gases (Domestic and Multiple Products)
  • Marine Contractors
  • Medical Products (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Metal Drums
  • Military Insignia (International)
  • Military Moving and Storage
  • Mining and Related Products (Multiple Industries, Domestic)
  • Motor Vehicles (Domestic)
  • Municipal Bonds (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Nursing
  • Ocean Shipping (International)
  • Oilfield Supplies
  • Pharmaceuticals (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Polypropylene bags
  • Rock Salt
  • Seafood
  • Security Contracts
  • School District Contracts (Multiple Industries)
  • Soda Ash
  • Shipping (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Slag Removal
  • Telecommunications
  • Tobacco
  • Translation Services
  • Trucking
  • US Agency for International Development Contractors and Grant Recipients
  • Vitamins
  • Warzone
  • Waste Hauling
  • Wholesale Groceries
  • Wireless
  • World Bank Contractors and Grant Recipients (International)
  • Vitamins


Experience by Subject Matter:

  • Antitrust (Civil and Criminal)
  • Auction Rigging
  • Bank Robberies (Domestic)
  • Bank Fraud
  • Bid-Rigging
  • Bribery
  • Buy American Act Violations
  • Capital Crimes
  • Cartels (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Cash Smuggling (International, multiple procurements by multiple governments)
  • Civil Merger and Non-Merger Cases (Multiple Products, Multiple Industries Domestic and International)
  • Civil Rights Actions
  • Competition Advocacy
  • Contempt
  • Contracting Fraud
  • Corporate Defense (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Criminal Conspiracies
  • Defamation
  • Disaster Fraud
  • Drug Cartels and Trafficking
  • Embezzlement
  • Employment Law
  • False Claims
  • False Statements
  • Federal Trade Commission Matters
  • Firearms and Weapons Offenses (Domestic and International)
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) (Multiple Industries)
  • Forgery
  • Fuel Theft
  • Grant Fraud (Multiple Industries, Multiple Agencies, Domestic and International)
  • Hart-Scott-Rodino Pre-Merger Notification
  • Health Care Fraud (Compliance, Organizational Defense, Whistleblowers)
  • Kickbacks
  • Identity Theft
  • Intellectual Property
  • Mail Fraud
  • Market Allocation
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Money Laundering (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Monopolies (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Murder for Hire
  • Non-governmental Organizations (International)
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Overseas Contingency Operations
  • Perjury
  • Presidential Pardons
  • Price Fixing
  • Procurement Fraud (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Professional Malpractice Defense
  • Public Corruption
  • Qui Tam Matters
  • Racketeering
  • Securities Fraud
  • Stark Violations
  • Tax Fraud (International, Domestic and State)
  • Territorial Allocation
  • Webb-Pomerene Organizations (International)
  • Weapons Offenses (Domestic and International)
  • Whistleblowers (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Wire Fraud
  • Witness Tampering


A Northern California real estate investor has agreed to plead guilty  for his role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real  estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice  announced.

Felony charges were filed today in the U.S. District Court for the  Northern District of California in San Francisco against Robert Williams of Atherton,  Calif. Williams is the 31st individual to plead guilty or agree to  plead guilty as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust  investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure  auctions in Northern California.

According to court documents, Williams conspired with  others not to bid against one another, but instead to designate a winning  bidder to obtain selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions  in San Mateo County, Calif. Williams was also charged with conspiring to use the mail to  carry out schemes to fraudulently acquire title to selected properties sold at public  auctions, to make and receive payoffs and to divert to co-conspirators money  that would have otherwise gone to mortgage holders and others.

The  department said Williams conspired with others to rig bids and commit mail  fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Mateo County beginning  as early as October 2009 and continuing until about December 2010.

“Collusion at these foreclosure auctions enabled the conspirators to  present the illusion of competition, when they were actually thwarting the  competitive process and profiting at the expense of lenders and distressed homeowners,”  said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of  Justice’s Antitrust Division. “The division remains committed to holding  accountable those who illegally subvert competition at real estate foreclosure  auctions across the country.”

The department said that the primary purpose of the  conspiracies was to suppress and restrain competition and to conceal payoffs in  order to obtain selected real estate offered at San Mateo County public  foreclosure auctions at non-competitive prices. When real estate properties are  sold at these auctions, the proceeds are used to pay off the mortgage and other  debt attached to the property, with remaining proceeds, if any, paid to the  homeowner.

“The legitimacy of an open, public real estate  foreclosure auction is compromised when an individual or group conspires to  commit criminal activity which impacts genuine intentions of good citizens,”  said David J. Johnson, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field  Office. “We are steadfast in our continued partnership with the Antitrust  Division in bringing those criminally responsible to justice.”

A violation of the Sherman Act carries a maximum penalty of  10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals. The maximum fine for  the Sherman Act charge may be increased to twice the gain derived from the  crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims if either amount is greater  than $1 million. A count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud carries a maximum  sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The government can also  seek to forfeit the proceeds earned from participating in the conspiracy to  commit mail fraud.

The charges today are the latest filed by the department in  its ongoing investigation into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate  foreclosure auctions in San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties,  Calif. These investigations are being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s San  Francisco Office and the FBI’s San Francisco office. Anyone with information  concerning bid rigging or fraud related to public real estate foreclosure  auctions should contact the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Field Office at  415-436-6660, visit, or call the FBI tip  line at 415-553-7400.

Today’s charges were  brought in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task  Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and  proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than  20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners,  it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory  agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force  has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution  of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal,  state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and  financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial  institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the  Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly  15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants.