NEW ORLEANS — A former federal employee has pleaded guilty in New Orleans after prosecutors said he agreed to take $250,000 in bribes to steer transportation contracts to a Georgia businessman.
U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser’s office said 48-year-old Erick Martin pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to commit bribery. He faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced April 27.
An Alaska company and its subsidiary have paid more than $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the federal government that accused the company of paying kickbacks and bribes to secure government contracts at an El Paso Army post, officials said.
Martin was a civilian employee of the United States Marines Corps Marine Forces Reserves Distribution Management Office in New Orleans. Prosecutors say the bribery scheme resulted in nearly $2 million in contracts being corruptly awarded.
Court records state that Martin was responsible for coordinating bus transportation for reserve forces. Another man charged in the case, Daniel Fitzpatrick, worked for a transportation brokerage company in Atlanta and had started his own such company.
Official told undercover agent he needed bribes, "so I can have my Christmas..."
“Martin accepted bribes in exchange for directing transportation contracts to businesses associated with Darrel Fitzpatrick,” the U.S. Attorney’s release said. Fitzpatrick, who according to court records was born in 1990 and also went by the name Patrick Fields, has pleaded not guilty in the case. He has been charged in a bill of information with conspiracy to commit bribery and is set for a hearing in February, according to online court records.