Louisiana Company Sentenced For Role in Conspiracy to Defraud the Government and Violate the Procurement Integrity Act
NEW ORLEANS, LA (STL.News) United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser and Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, announced that CAJAN WELDING & RENTALS, LTD., a company located in Opelousas, Louisiana, was sentenced by United States District Judge Greg G. Guidry after previously pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Procurement Integrity Act, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.
According to the plea agreement, CAJAN WELDING & RENTALS, LTD. conspired with unnamed co-conspirators to defraud the United States by corrupting and impairing the government procurement process, and by obtaining non-public pricing and cost information in order to obtain subcontract awards and payments from the U.S. Department of Energy in connection with its operation of the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Judge Guidry sentenced CAJAN WELDING & RENTALS, LTD. to a criminal fine of $400,000 and a mandatory special assessment fee of $400.
“Fraud against the U.S. government, regardless of its scope and means of orchestration, is a serious crime. Especially egregious is fraud that undermines the government procurement processes, which erodes public trust,” said U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Louisiana Peter G. Strasser. “It is imperative that fair bidding procedures are preserved. This sentencing sends a clear message that our office will vigorously investigate and prosecute all such corruption cases.
“The investigation and prosecution of organizations that cheat, collude, and seek to undermine the integrity of government procurement remain priorities for the division,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “The division is dedicated to protecting the public purse from conspiracies that rob taxpayers and critical federal programs — like the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — of the benefits of competition.”
The case is the result of a federal investigation being conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal II Section, and the Department of Energy’s Office of the Inspector General.