Fraudster Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to Four Years in Prison for Multi-Million-Dollar Commercial Bribery Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 16, 2010|
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that WILFREDO HERNANDEZ was sentenced today to four years in prison for participating in a multi-million-dollar commercial bribery scheme to defraud Gartner, Inc. ("Gartner"), an information technology company based in Connecticut. The sentence follows HERNANDEZ’s guilty plea in May 2009, to charges of commercial bribery, mail fraud, money laundering, and conspiring to commit those crimes. United States District Judge JOHN G. KOELTL, who imposed the sentence this afternoon in Manhattan federal court, also ordered HERNANDEZ to forfeit $1,398,544.
According to the Indictment to which HERNANDEZ pleaded guilty, other documents filed in this case, and statements made in court:
From at least September 2002 through March 2005, HERNANDEZ defrauded Gartner by bribing two Gartner employees to cause Gartner to pay $1.4 million to sham companies that HERNANDEZ created to pose as graphic design vendors. HERNANDEZ’s shell companies served no purpose other than as vehicles to submit fraudulent bills to Gartner. Gartner received no services of any kind in return for the vast majority of its payments to HERNANDEZ.
To launder the bribes that HERNANDEZ paid to one of the Gartner employees, HERNANDEZ wrote checks to a company controlled by another co-conspirator, who then wrote checks from that company's account to the Gartner employee.
Co-defendant BENJAMIN CARDONA, who previously pleaded guilty, was sentenced by Judge KOELTL on December 11, 2009, to four year in prison.
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this case.
This case is being handled by the Complex Frauds Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys DAVID B. MASSEY and AVI WEITZMAN are in charge of the prosecution.