82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeNewsLocal newsContractor Pleads Guilty to Paying Kickbacks in V.I., P.R.

Contractor Pleads Guilty to Paying Kickbacks in V.I., P.R.

A mechanical engineer who got work repairing federal buildings in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands admitted he sought and obtained kickbacks for doing that work. U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert announced the guilty plea entered by Renialdo Cruz Taura in a news release issued Wednesday.

Taura, president of RCT Mechanical Engineering, was arrested June 3 and accused of violating a provision of federal law that guides the lawful conduct of business owners working under contract with the U.S. government.

Court documents say Taura admitted paying kickbacks to a project manager with the prime contractor totaling $1.2 million. In exchange, the defendant would get favorable treatment regarding contracts to perform work at the Coast Guard headquarters building in Puerto Rico and the Almeric Christian Federal Building in Christiansted.

Federal law prohibits contractors from providing, offering, soliciting or accepting kickbacks.

Advertising (skip)

Under a program begun in 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded sixteen prime contractors contracts that allowed them to execute large scale energy savings and facility improvement jobs while avoiding large capital outlays. At the time the offense was committed between June 2011 and June 2015, Taura was working for a prime contractor based in New Hampshire.

Investigators were able to document instances where, over the course of five years, the project manager identified by the initials B.P. inflated bid prices and received illegal payments with help from subcontracting bidders.

The RCT Mechanical Engineering kickback case was investigated by the General Services Administration – Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of the Inspector General, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Department of Agriculture – Office of the Inspector General, Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathan Brooks and Jennifer Blecher.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,758FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
A mechanical engineer who got work repairing federal buildings in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands admitted he sought and obtained kickbacks for doing that work. U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert announced the guilty plea entered by Renialdo Cruz Taura in a news release issued Wednesday. Taura, president of RCT Mechanical Engineering, was arrested June 3 and accused of violating a provision of federal law that guides the lawful conduct of business owners working under contract with the U.S. government. Court documents say Taura admitted paying kickbacks to a project manager with the prime contractor totaling $1.2 million. In exchange, the defendant would get favorable treatment regarding contracts to perform work at the Coast Guard headquarters building in Puerto Rico and the Almeric Christian Federal Building in Christiansted. Federal law prohibits contractors from providing, offering, soliciting or accepting kickbacks. Under a program begun in 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded sixteen prime contractors contracts that allowed them to execute large scale energy savings and facility improvement jobs while avoiding large capital outlays. At the time the offense was committed between June 2011 and June 2015, Taura was working for a prime contractor based in New Hampshire. Investigators were able to document instances where, over the course of five years, the project manager identified by the initials B.P. inflated bid prices and received illegal payments with help from subcontracting bidders. The RCT Mechanical Engineering kickback case was investigated by the General Services Administration – Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of the Inspector General, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Department of Agriculture – Office of the Inspector General, Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathan Brooks and Jennifer Blecher.