Businessman sentenced to 30 months in federal prison in conspiracy to bribe a Veterans Affairs official in Colorado
By KIERAN NICHOLSON | The Denver Post | Published: January 15, 2020
DENVER (Tribune News Service) — A businessman has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to bribe a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs official to gain unfair advantages in procuring contracts.
Anthony Bueno, 45, was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado.
According to court records, Bueno and his business partner, Robert Revis, arranged for an undercover FBI agent to make payments to VA official Dwane Nevins to manipulate the government contracting process. The undercover agent was posing as a veteran and small business owner.
Bueno was remanded into custody immediately after the sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson, according to a Tuesday news release. Bueno pleaded guilty in the case in September.
“Illegally manipulating the government contracting process will result in harsh consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “Mr. Bueno will now have more than two years in federal prison and a lifetime as a convicted felon to think about the harm he caused taxpayers.”
As part of the bribery scheme, Bueno and Revis, conspiring with Nevins, a specialist at the VA’s Network Contracting Office in Colorado, “agreed to submit bids from small businesses owned by veterans disabled during military service (one of whom was the undercover FBI agent) under contract with Bueno and Revis’ consulting company so that federal contracts would be set aside for only those companies,” according to the news release. “As Bueno explained to the undercover agent, the conspirators would then ‘own all the dogs on the track,’ meaning their clients were guaranteed to get the contracts.”
Nevins pleaded guilty in September to every count of an indictment against him, including counts of conspiracy, receiving bribes, extortion, and criminal conflicts of interests. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 19. Revis pleaded guilty in April to a single count of supplementing the salary of a federal official. His sentencing is scheduled for March 2.
“This sentence illustrates the serious consequences of undermining the federal contracting process,” said Gregg Hirstein, special agent in charge, VA’s Office of Inspector General. “We will always hold accountable those who seek to corrupt the VA’s business practices.”
Bueno also pleaded guilty in September, in a separate case, to conspiring to launder money in a wire fraud scheme in which he used false representation about investment opportunities to procure more than a million dollars from several victims. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for Jan. 23.