LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A former federal official was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for taking bribes and committing $1.5 million in tax fraud in his position with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Frederick J. Leavitt, 50, pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit “honest services fraud” and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He was ordered to pay $704,002 in restitution.
U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon sentenced Leavitt on Monday.
Leavitt, who was the Director of the Financial Management Office for the Lower Colorado Region, conspired with CPA Dustin M. Lewis of a Las Vegas accounting firm to rig contract bidding, according to a Monday news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Leavitt was on a committee that awarded contracts to perform auditing services on Bureau of Reclamation programs.
Lewis paid a bribe of more than $150,000 to Leavitt to steer a contract to the firm Lewis worked for, L.L. Bradford & Company.
Lewis previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme. He is scheduled to be sentenced in August.
In a separate tax fraud conspiracy, Leavitt and Lewis worked together to file fraudulent tax forms for 2013, on behalf of six businesses that claimed over $11 million collectively in false business deductions. That crime resulted in a tax loss to the IRS in excess of $1.5 million.
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.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Interior.