Former federal official sentenced to prison for contract bribery conspiracy and tax fraud

 

Date: April 11, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

LAS VEGAS — A former official with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) was sentenced today to two years and six months in prison for his role in a bribery scheme involving a federal contract and committing $1.5 million in tax fraud.

Frederick J. Leavitt of Henderson, Nev., pleaded guilty in October 2019 to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. In addition to imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon ordered Leavitt to pay restitution in the amount of $704,002.

According to court documents, Leavitt had been employed by the USBR as Director of the Financial Management Office for the Lower Colorado Region, which includes the Hoover Dam. From about February 2015 through about February 2016, Leavitt and co-conspirator Dustin M. Lewis — a certified public accountant employed by L.L. Bradford & Company, an accounting firm in Las Vegas — devised and executed a scheme to defraud the United States. Leavitt had been assigned to a selection committee that awarded government contracts to perform auditing services for USBR programs. As part of the honest services fraud conspiracy, Lewis paid more than $150,000 in bribes to Leavitt, which they agreed to conceal. In exchange, Leavitt steered an audit contract to L.L. Bradford.

In a separate tax fraud conspiracy, Leavitt and Lewis worked together to file fraudulent tax forms for tax year 2013, on behalf of six business entities that claimed over $11,000,000 collectively in false business deductions. As a result, they caused a tax loss to the IRS in excess of $1.5 million.

Co-conspirator Lewis pleaded guilty in January 2020. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 18, 2022.

Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the FBI, and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Interior. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre and Tax Division Trial Attorney Patrick Burns are prosecuting the case.