February 21, 2013
Georgia Woman Admits to Taking Bribes for the Award of Government Contracts
A former employee at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany pleaded guilty today to receiving bribes related to the award of contracts for machine products.
Michelle Rodriguez, 32, of Albany, Ga., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands in the Middle District of Georgia to one count of bribery of a public official. During her guilty plea, Rodriguez, who worked as a supply technician in the Maintenance Center Albany (MCA), admitted to participating in a scheme to award contracts for machine products to companies operated by Thomas J. Cole and Frederick Simon, both of whom pleaded guilty to bribery charges in January 2013.According to court documents, the MCA is responsible for rebuilding and repairing ground combat and combat support equipment, much of which has been used in military missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world. To accomplish the scheme, Rodriguez would transmit bid solicitations to Simon by fax or email, usually following up with a text message specifying how much the company seeking the contract should bid. Simon, with Cole’s knowledge, would then bid the amount specified by Rodriguez on each order, which was normally higher than fair market value. Rodriguez was paid $75.00 cash per order. Rodriguez admitted during today’s hearing that she awarded Cole and Simon’s companies nearly 1,300 machine product orders, all in exchange for bribes.