The head of a San Diego-based defense contractor pleaded guilty Wednesday to a conflict-of-interest charge for engaging in projects overseen by a Navy official who had given him and his company personal loans totaling more than $30,000.
Alfonso Liburd, president and chief executive officer of NevWest Inc., admitted to aiding and abetting port engineer John Nasshan in improperly administering subcontracts in which the latter had a financial interest.
Liburd, a Chula Vista resident, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $250,000 fine.
In his role as a combat systems port engineer at Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, Nasshan drafted technical direction letters, recommended which contractors were qualified for jobs and certified work performed on Navy ships by contractors.
Though federal law prohibited him from administering projects in which he had a personal financial interest, Nasshan oversaw contracts involving Liburd, 67, and NevWest, court documents state.
To conceal their illegal activity, Liburd and Nasshan agreed to keep their financial arrangement secret and to deal in cash when exchanging amounts over $10,000.
Liburd also lied to Defense Criminal Investigative Service agents regarding his relationship with Nasshan, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.
Liburd falsely told a DCIS agent in November 2015 that he never received any money from Nasshan, paid him any money or obtained any loans from him, prosecutors alleged.
“As in all phases of the government contracting process, it is essential that the work performed by contractors be done free of undue influence, bias or favoritism,” acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson said.
“Accordingly, government officials and employees are prohibited from working on any and all matters that would affect their personal financial position.”
–City News Service
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