Veterans Affairs Official Charged With Taking Bribes To Help Business Associates Rig Federal Contracting Process

Defendant also allegedly used his official position to extort $10,000 from undercover FBI agent posing as the owner of a service-disabled-veteran owned small business

HandcuffsDENVER – Dwane Nevins, age 54, of Denver, Robert Revis, age 59, and Anthony Bueno, age 43, were arrested today pursuant to warrants issued in connection with an indictment charging them with conspiring to pay and receive bribes in exchange for creating an opportunity to commit a fraud against the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, announced U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, FBI Special Agent in Charge Calvin A. Shivers, Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, Central Field Office Special Agent in Charge Gregg Hirstein, and Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge Kari Overson.  The defendants are also charged with paying and receiving bribes, or aiding and abetting the payment of bribes.  Dwane Nevins was separately charged in another count with extortion under color of official right and in two counts with violating the federal conflict of interest statute.   All three defendants made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty, where they were advised of the their rights and the charges pending against them.

As alleged in the indictment, Dwane Nevins — a small business specialist at the VA’s Network Contracting Office in Colorado — agreed to take bribes offered by Revis, Bueno and an undercover FBI agent to help them manipulate the process for bidding on federal contracts with the VA.  Revis and Bueno, working with Nevins, agreed to submit fraudulent bids from service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses under contract with their consulting company so that federal contracts would be set aside for only those companies.  As Bueno allegedly explained, they would then “own all the dogs on the track.”  Nevins, Bueno and Revis worked to conceal the nature of the bribe payments by either kicking back to Nevins a portion of the payments made to their consulting company, or by asking their consulting company’s clients to pay Nevins for sham training classes related to federal contracting.

The indictment also alleges that, after complaining about not being paid by Revis and Bueno for his participation in the scheme, Nevins used his official position at the VA to extort approximately $10,000 from an undercover FBI agent, telling the agent that “the train don’t go without me.  You know what I mean?  I’m the engine.  I’m the caboose.  I’m the engine room.”  Nevins also allegedly told the undercover FBI agent “this is a business and businessmen need to get paid . . . . so I can have my Christmas, you know what I’m saying?”

The indictment alleges that the conspirators attempted to rig the process related to two particular contracts, both of which related to medical equipment and not to the construction of any VA facilities.  The first contract related to the procurement of LC bead particle embolization products by a VA hospital in Salt Lake City and the second related to the procurement of durable medical equipment for VA facilities located throughout the region.

The case was jointly investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General.

The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bryan D. Fields.

The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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