Ex-U.S. Navy Contract Official Sentenced to More than 5 Years in Prison for Bribery Scheme Where He Netted $1.2 Million in Kickbacks

A federal judge sentenced Fernando Barroso Sr., 69, a former civilian employee of the United States Navy who was a senior procurement official for Naval Base Ventura County and who received $1.2 million in illegal kickbacks to 70 months in federal prison. Barroso pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of subscribing to a false federal income tax return. Barroso admitted in his plea agreement that he defrauded the United States, submitted false claims for payment and accepted bribes.

            Barroso worked for 22 years as the master scheduler for the Public Works Department at the Naval Base, which included three facilities – Point Mugu, Port Hueneme and San Nicolas Island. In this role, Barroso was an “approving official” responsible for approving material purchases, service contracts, vendors and payments to vendors. Barroso conspired with Theodore Bauer, a Ventura County businessman who operated three entities that received contracts from the Navy. Barroso and Bauer entered into an arrangement in 2008 where Barroso issued and approved work orders and purchase orders for Bauer’s companies. Bauer submitted false invoices on behalf of his companies, and Barroso approved invoices and payments to Bauer’s companies – even though work was not being performed. In return, Bauer gave Barroso 50 percent of all proceeds generated by the scheme.

            Before September 13, 2011, Bauer paid Barroso in cash – a figure that exceeded $375,000. Beginning on September 14, 2011, when Barroso created F. Barroso & Sons, Bauer paid the kickbacks by issuing checks payable to Barroso’s corporation. In December 2013, Barroso purchased a majority stake in a maintenance company, and Bauer paid kickbacks in the form of checks to that company as well. The total amount of kickbacks paid by Bauer to Barroso in the form of checks was $846,100.

            Barroso admitted that he violated government procurement regulations and violated conflict of interest laws by approving contract payments to the maintenance company he controlled. Barroso further admitted that some of the invoices issued by the maintenance company were simply fraudulent. Barroso also admitted that he failed to report $95,200 of kickbacks on his 2011 tax return, and that he claimed $331,225 of fictitious deductions on his 2012 tax returns. 

His co-defendant, Bauer, pleaded guilty in November 2018 to conspiracy to commit bribery and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 22.

Remember Kick backs can kick you in the back. 

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