fraud 16-9

A former government official who oversaw operations and maintenance at the Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, and Tecate ports of entry admitted in federal court Thursday to a nearly decade-long conspiracy to solicit bribes and steal federal property.

Timothy Francis Cashman, 54, pleaded guilty in San Diego to using his position as a building manager for the General Services Administration for his personal enrichment, demanding kickbacks and services in exchange for favorable treatment in the awarding of GSA contracts.

Under one such arrangement, Cashman directed government contractor Hugo Alonso Inc. to give him $10,000 in cash and perform thousands of dollars worth of free construction services — including painting, re-roofing and window replacement — on his Lakeside home, according to court documents.

Cashman also admitted that he had HAI pay another government contractor $120,000 in order to land a construction job at Otay Mesa Port of Entry, and conceded that he accepted six checks totaling $42,000 from the second contractor and deposited the funds into his own bank account.

Cashman concealed all income received from HAI when submitting his federal income-tax returns, prosecutors alleged.

In addition, Cashman filched thousands of dollars worth of government building materials — including copper cable, metal panels and heavy brass letters spelling out “United States Border Inspection Station” — by getting contractors and others to pack them up and transport them away from GSA facilities, according to the plea agreement.

Cashman will face maximum penalties of eight years in prison and $500,000 worth of fines at his sentencing, scheduled for Aug. 7.

HAI and its principal owner, Hugo Alonso, previously pleaded guilty in the case and have been sentenced.

— City News Service