Retired USPS Executive Sentenced to Probation on Influence Peddling Charge

PLANO, Texas – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a former United States Postal Service executive has been sentenced to probation for an offense committed in the Eastern District of Texas.

Russell Sykes, 64, of Boynton Beach, Florida, a retired executive level employee of the United States Postal Service, was sentenced to three years’ probation and was fined $5000 during a hearing before Judge Amos L. Mazzant on March 29, 2016.

US-Department-Of-Justi_fmtAccording to information presented in court, Sykes had been employed by the Postal Service in an Executive Service position as Manager of the Surface Transportation Category Management Center in Largo, MD.  Sykes retired from this position on May 31, 2011.  Immediately before his retirement, Sykes was heavily involved, in accordance with his position as a manager for the Postal Service, in negotiating contracts with Alan Richey, Inc. (ARI), a company that leased trailers to the Postal Service to transport mail.  After his retirement, Sykes represented ARI in matters related to contracts between ARI and the Postal Service in violation of the statute.  As a result, Sykes was paid fees totaling $30,000 by ARI, and additional contracts were awarded to ARI.  Federal law prohibits, for two years, former government employees who served in an executive level position from contacting or communicating with their former department or agency about any matter that was pending before that department or agency and over which the employee had official responsibility.

Area Special Agent in Charge Curtis Lembke, U.S. Postal Service OIG, Special Inquiries Division, stated, “Sykes used his former position with the Postal Service for his own personal gain. This criminal behavior is not tolerated, and the results of this investigation serve as a deterrent to others.”

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Texas.