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Former Government Consultant Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison for Bribery and Fraud Schemes

Monday, December 23, 2019

(Washington, DC) John Woods, 57, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 41 months in prison on charges that he stole more than $560,000 from the company and paid more than $140,000 in bribes to a former D.C. government employee to facilitate his theft.

The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Washington Field Office, Criminal Division, and Daniel W. Lucas, District of Columbia Inspector General.

In August 2019, Woods pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of wire fraud. He was sentenced by the Honorable Dabney L. Friedrich. Following his prison term, Woods will be placed on three years of supervised release.

As part of his sentence, Woods was ordered to pay $564,910.23 in restitution to the company from which he stole the money, identified in the statement of offense as “Company A.”

According to the statement of offense, Woods worked as a consultant for Company A, which had contracts with the District of Columbia Department of Human Resources (“DCHR”). Between April 2013 and February 2015, Woods stole $214,910 in D.C. government checks that were issued to “Company A” for work performed on the DCHR contracts. Beginning in March 2015, Woods began usurping “Company A’s” role under the contracts by purposefully failing to submit Company A’s invoices to DCHR for payment. This led Company A to believe the D.C. government was negligent in paying its invoices, and Company A stopped seeking to perform work under its agreements with DCHR. Woods then secretly performed the agreements without Company A’s knowledge by hiring and retaining contractors to provide the necessary work to DCHR and by submitting fraudulent invoices to DCHR, purportedly on behalf of Company A, for payment under the agreements. DCHR would then issue payments in the form of D.C. government checks made payable to Company A, which Woods deposited into a bank account he controlled. In all, Woods fraudulently deposited approximately 27 checks issued by the D.C. government to “Company A”, totaling approximately $1,040,023, from March 2015 through August 2017.

According to the statement of offense, in order to keep his scheme in place, Woods paid more than $140,000 in bribes to Latasha Moore, then a DCHR employee. As a resource allocation analyst for DCHR, Moore was the main point of contact for “Company A.” In exchange for the bribes that Woods paid to her, Moore ensured no complaints or suspicions about the contracts reached others in the government. For example, Moore failed to report problems that arose while Woods was managing the work, including complaints of contractors arriving late, leaving early or failing to show up at all for training.

Moore, 38, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty on Oct. 11, 2018, to a federal bribery charge. She will be sentenced on January 7, 2020.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Special Agent in Charge Dunham, and Inspector General Lucas commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Office of the Inspector General of the District of Columbia. They also expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Marando of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.