FCI Danbury Employee Charged with Participating in Inmate Early Release Bribery Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 14, 2014|
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that KISHA PERKINS, a case manager at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury (FCI Danbury), was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging her with aiding and abetting a scheme to solicit and collect cash bribes from FCI Danbury inmates in exchange for a recommendation that inmates be released early to “halfway houses.”
PERKINS, 42, of Waterbury, was arrested this morning by FBI special agents at her home. She appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven and was released on a $100,000 bond.
“There is no tolerance for corrupt employees within the ranks of the Justice Department,” stated U.S. Attorney Daly. “The allegations contained in this criminal complaint are serious and disturbing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal investigative partners are committed to rooting out corruption at all levels of government.”
“Plainly and simply, the FBI has zero tolerance for corruption of any kind, at any level of government,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Ferrick. “The allegations in the complaint are clearly very serious crimes. And the resulting law enforcement response to committing those crimes should be equally clear. If you put your position of trust with the government up for sale, you will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
As alleged in the criminal complaint, in June 2013, PERKINS approached another FCI Danbury employee about an opportunity to participate in a scheme to solicit a cash bribe from an inmate at FCI Danbury in exchange for the inmate’s early release to a halfway house. At that time, PERKINS held the job title of unit counselor at FCI Danbury and did not have administrative authority to recommend inmates for early release. PERKINS explained that the inmate and the inmate’s husband were willing to pay $20,000, and that PERKINS’ co-worker, who would receive half of the money, was needed to complete the scheme because the co-worker had the administrative ability to recommend inmates for early release.
PERKINS’ co-worker declined to participate in the scheme, reported the incident to law enforcement, and agreed to cooperate in the investigation, which included the use of numerous consensually recorded conversations.
In July 2013, PERKINS’ co-worker told PERKINS that he/she had changed his/her mind and wanted to participate in the scheme. It is alleged that PERKINS informed her co-worker that a scheme involving the inmate who had been previously identified was no longer feasible.
As the investigation continued, in February 2014, PERKINS’ co-worker identified a second inmate as a possible candidate for the bribe scheme. Is it alleged that PERKINS agreed to participate and, after extensive planning, on March 8, 2014, PERKINS and her co-worker traveled to a commuter lot off of Exit 28 on Interstate 84 to pick up a partial bribe payment of $5,000 in cash in a fast food bag that, as PERKINS believed, was to be dropped off by an acquaintance of the inmate.
The complaint charges PERKINS with aiding and abetting in a bribery scheme of a public official, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Wines.