Businessman pleads guilty to illegal payments on Edelweiss resort contract
An Indiana businessman was sentenced to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty to illegally paying $43,000 and gifts as part of a contract to furnish the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort.
Alvan Vance McQueen II, 58, of Shelbyville, Ind., president of Flat Rock Furniture Inc., also has to pay $103,500 in restitution and fines for his role in the scheme, in which he paid the former contracting director of the Army-owned resort in Garmisch, Germany.
McQueen pleaded guilty to two counts, one for paying illegal gratuities and one for traveling to Germany and elsewhere to facilitate the illegal deal.
The former contracting director, Steven G. Potoski, was previously arrested but not named in the Justice Department press release. His case is still pending.
According to the Justice Department, McQueen paid Potoski approximately $43,000 in cash and provided other things of value, including hotel rooms, airfare and tickets to the Indianapolis 500.
In return, Potoski allegedly agreed to approve the fraudulently inflated contract and split the added amount with McQueen. McQueen also passed $100,000 in cash to an undercover agent posing as Potoski’s successor as part of a scheme to inflate certain line items by $200,000.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Judge David F. Hamilton of the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis characterized McQueen as an upstanding citizen who got sucked into Potoski’s scheme.
Potoski allegedly asked that agreed-upon deals be “modified” before they were finalized, the Star reported.
“His demands increased,” McQueen told the court. “As time went by and I was living with this, I began to feel pretty bad. It was like living in a nightmare. You couldn’t talk to anyone about it.”
McQueen also was sentenced to a year of supervised probation after serving his jail time.
According to the Justice Department, Potoski has admitted accepting more than $350,000 in bribes from 12 German contractors, one British and two Americans.
The hotel, which cost $80 million to build, opened in September 2004 and is used by Department of Defense personnel and for rest and recuperation holidays by troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.