Guilty Plea in a Conspiracy to Bribe a U.S. Air Force Contract Administrator
SACRAMENTO, CA—Lida Amin, 40, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Dublin, California, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to bribe a public official in furtherance of an ongoing effort to secure government contracts through graft, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
On August 8, 2013, a federal grand jury charged Lida Amin and her brother Nabil Amin with conspiring to bribe a public official in exchange for a military contract to supply medical clothing and linens that were to be shipped to Afghanistan via Travis Air Force Base. Lida Amin was also charged with three counts of using interstate commerce facilities to aid in her bribery activities: one of those counts is for transportation of goods on Interstate 80 and two of the counts are for using Internet-based e-mail to communicate with officials at Travis Air Force Base.
According to the plea agreement, from 2007 to 2010, Lida Amin engaged in a related scheme for which she is facing federal charges in Texas. In that scheme, she conspired to bribe a member of the U.S. Air Force who was serving in Afghanistan as a contracting officer. He awarded contracts to the conspirators in exchange for the promise of $30,000. In 2008, the contracting officer was paid $18,000, but the remaining $12,000 was still owed.
The charges to which Amin pleaded guilty today relate to a second round of contacts with the same contracting officer. In June 2012, he was working for the U.S. government as a civilian acquisition analyst (or contract administrator) in Afghanistan and contacted Lida Amin to see if she was interested in working with government contracts again. Lida Amin replied that she was and agreed to meet in Budapest, Hungary to talk. The scheme involved the contract administrator assisting Lida Amin to obtain as many new government contracts as possible. In exchange, she promised to make bribe payments to the contract administrator.
In September 2012, Lida Amin met with the contract administrator in Budapest. They discussed two upcoming contracts, the manner and amount of the bribe, and in addition to that amount, Lida Amin would pay him an extra $12,000 to cover the debt that he was owed from 2008. Lida Amin and the contract administrator arranged a means to communicate covertly about the government contract bidding process.
Lida Amin established companies and bank accounts in Afghanistan to receive the proceeds from government contracts. In July 2013, Lida Amin, using the alias “Sabrina Samir” and acting through one of her companies, Striker Logistics, shipped contract goods, including medical clothing and linens, to Travis Air Force Base.
On August 28, 2013, Lida Amin was arrested in Prague after she traveled there to meet with the contract administrator.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Fremont Police Department. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice-Office of International Affairs and the Czech National Police. Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Beckwith is prosecuting this case and the case in Texas.
Nabil Amin is scheduled for a status conference in Sacramento on July 9, 2014. The charge against him is only an allegation; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. On June 17, 2014, Lida Amin is scheduled to plead guilty to the charges brought in the Northern District of Texas for the earlier bribery scheme. That hearing will be held in the federal courthouse in Dallas.
Amin is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Kimberly J. Mueller on September 3, 2014. The plea agreement under which she entered her plea is subject to the approval of Judge Mueller. If the agreement is accepted, Amin’s actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The public is encouraged to report instances of public corruption and government fraud to the FBI by calling toll free 855-4NO-PCGF (855-466-7243). Callers must identify themselves, but they can remain anonymous.