Former Milford manufacturing executive gets 20 months in Amtrak bribery case

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Former Milford manufacturing company executive John P. Gonzales was sentenced to 20 months in prison for his involvement in a bribery scheme with a former Amtrak official.

Gonzales, 61, of Milford, provided the official with cash and vacations in exchange for federal contracts with the railroad.

In February 2019, Gonzalespleaded guilty to one count of federal program bribery. For a nearly two-year period from 2015 through 2017. Another First State executive was sentenced earlier. (See story. below).

No other executives of the company were named in the case.

Gonzales was an executive vice president and chief financial officer for First State Manufacturing, a custom sewing and upholstery business that does work for federal agencies.

Timothy Miller, a lead contract administrator for Amtrak, awarded more than $7.6 million in contracts to the defendant’s firm in exchange for bribes of approximately $20,000 and other things of value, including trips to Rehoboth Beach arranged by Gonzales and another executive at the firm.

“When businesses and public officials conspire to bypass the competitive bidding process, they not only harm other businesses seeking to compete, but they also undermine public confidence in the integrity of public works,” said Acting U.S. Attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania Jennifer Arbittier Williams. “John Gonzales purchased influence with a government agency, Amtrak, and for that he must now face serious consequences. Our office will continue to investigate and prosecute public corruption wherever it exists at all levels of government.”

“We hope the results of this case send a clear message about the consequences of bribery and bid rigging—our office will vigorously investigate and help bring to justice those who threaten Amtrak’s and the taxpayers’ funds,” said Kevin Winters, Amtrak’s Inspector General. “Throughout this case, we have been proud of the professionalism and mutual support displayed by our agents, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the FBI, IRS, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.”

“John Gonzales resorted to bribery to generate business for his firm, greasing the palm of an Amtrak employee,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “His corruption seemed to pay off for a time, yielding millions in government contracts. Ultimately, of course, those actions have cost him dearly. If you’re going after taxpayer dollars dishonestly, if you’re trampling all over what’s intended to be a level playing field, you too can earn yourself a stay in federal prison.”

The case was investigated by the Amtrak Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U. S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric L. Gibson.

Former Milford manufacturing executive gets 18 months for Amtrak kickback scheme

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