Woman Arrested in Prague on Charges of Conspiring to Bribe U.S. Air Force Contract Administrator
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 29, 2013|
SACRAMENTO, CA—U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Lida Amin, 39, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Dublin, California, was arrested today in Prague, Czech Republic, by Czech authorities pursuant to a U.S. request for her provisional arrest with a view toward extradition. The provisional arrest request was based on an indictment filed in the Eastern District of California on August 8, 2013, charging Ms. Amin and her brother, Nabil Amin, with conspiring to bribe a public official in exchange for military contracts. Ms. Amin is also charged with three counts of using interstate commerce facilities to aid in her bribery activities. The indictment was unsealed today after Ms. Amin was arrested by Czech officials. The Department of Justice will seek the extradition of Ms. Amin to the United States.
According to the indictment, Lida Amin and Nabil Amin traveled to Budapest, Hungary, in September 2012 to meet with an U.S. Air Force contract administrator to discuss the details of a scheme to obtain government contracts in exchange for bribe payments. The contract administrator had formerly been stationed in Afghanistan. The defendants' scheme involved obtaining as many contracts as possible over an extended period of time by making bribe payments to the contract administrator after each contract was completed. In exchange for the bribe payments, the contract administrator would continue to assist Lida Amin and Nabil Amin in obtaining new government contracts.
The indictment alleges that Lida Amin and Nabil Amin established a plan to communicate with the contract administrator during the contract bidding process using a limited-access GMX webmail account to which both sides had access. The GMX account was used when a code word was mentioned over a different e-mail account. When notified in this way, Ms. Amin communicated with the contract administrator by creating draft e-mails in the GMX account, which, once read, could be deleted without being sent, thus minimizing the electronic record of their communications. According to the indictment, Ms. Amin established companies and bank accounts in Afghanistan in the names of third parties and entities for the purpose of receiving proceeds from government contracts received through the bribery scheme. In connection with a bribe promise made to the contract administrator, Ms. Amin, acting through one of her companies, Striker Logistics, shipped contract goods, including medical clothing and linens, to Travis Air Force Base in the Eastern District of California in July 2013.
Ms. Amin was arrested in Prague after she traveled there to meet with the contract administrator. The charges against both defendants are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an extensive, joint investigation by the FBI; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Fremont, California, Police Department; and U.S. Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs. Assistance was provided by the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, Czech National Police, and Prague Police Department.
The maximum statutory penalty for the charge of conspiracy to bribe a public official is five years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty for the charges of use of a facility in interstate commerce in aid of bribery activity is five years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release.