ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Gene Quarles, 47, of Spotsylvania, Va., pleaded guilty late yesterday to receiving thousands of dollars in bribes to use his position as a purchasing specialist for the United States Postal Service to obtain and facilitate contracts for a Maryland-based information technology firm.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Barry Grzechowiak of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge T. S. Ellis III.
Quarles pled guilty on Feb. 14, 2013, to bribery of a public official and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 17, 2013.
According to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Quarles worked for the United States Postal Service (USPS) since 2007. During the time in which he was accepting bribes, he served as a purchasing specialist, where he oversaw, evaluated, and managed USPS contracts relating to business mail entry and payment technologies.
In April 2010, officials with AH Computer Consulting, Inc. (AHCC), an international information technology consulting firm based in Rockville, Md., approached Quarles and offered to pay him bribes in exchange for various impermissible contracting preferences and advantages. Quarles accepted this offer, and from April 2010 through June 2012, AHCC employees paid Quarles numerous cash payments — totaling thousands of dollars — in exchange for Quarles’ providing advantages to AHCC during the USPS contracting process.
For example, Quarles provided AHCC with confidential USPS contracting information, including other vendors’ proposals and labor rates, so that AHCC could tailor its bids to what other potential contractors were bidding. Quarles also forwarded various private call-in numbers for conference calls between USPS officials, where official business was discussed, so that AHCC employees could anonymously listen in and get a leg-up on their competition. Quarles also allowed AHCC employees to complete surveys, evaluations, and other review materials in Quarles’ own name so that AHCC could obtain additional government contracts.
Quarles admitted that he used the bribe payments to pay for bills, rent, and other living expenses.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Chad Golder from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.