Former Commerce Employee Sentenced for Bribery Scheme

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former information technology official with the Department of Commerce was sentenced today to 4 years in prison and ordered to forfeit approximately $224,500 for conspiracy to pay and receive bribes, and acceptance of bribes by a public official.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Raushi J. Conrad, 43, of Bristow, served as the Director of Systems Operation and Security within the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), a branch of the Department of Commerce. In that position, Conrad was designated to oversee and manage a project whereby computer files were transferred from an old BIS computer network that had been infected by a virus to a new, uninfected network. Conrad was also to ensure that the transferred files were free of viruses and, in some instances, retained the full functionality of the files that had resided on the old network.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, while serving as the project manager for the data migration project, Conrad solicited and received bribes from James Bedford, a local businessman, in return for steering a lucrative subcontract and contract to perform the data migration work to companies owned in whole or in part by Bedford. One of Bedford’s companies made $208,000 in payments to a restaurant business owned by Conrad, and many of these payments were concealed through false and fictitious invoices created by Conrad. The fake invoices made it appear that Conrad’s restaurant business had performed various services for Bedford’s company, when in fact no such services had ever been provided. Bedford’s company also arranged for various employees and subcontractors to perform over $16,000 worth of free renovation work at Conrad’s residence. Bedford pleaded guilty and was sentenced on June 30 (Case number 1:16-cr-264).

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Duane E. Townsend, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General, and Robert E. Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Burke and Jamar K. Walker prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-169.

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