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Bribery and Corruption Casebook: The View from Under the Table by Laura Hymes, Joseph T. Wells

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CHAPTER 16

High-Rise Rollers

RICHARD F. WOODFORD, JR.

Dan Abrams and Mark German were well-established, seasoned facilities management professionals. Working together as the number-one and two procurement officials in a high-profile federal financial regulatory agency, the Trust and Finances Department (TFD), the two were responsible for monitoring a major $400 million construction project for the new TFD headquarters being built within sight of the Capitol Building. The construction contracts had been dutifully put out for competitive bidding, and even though there were some unexpected security cost overruns, the massive building project was moving forward as planned. With three months to go until the grand opening, subcontractors were busy installing fittings and fixtures, and all appeared to be on track. Then an anonymous complaint arrived in the TFD inspector general’s mailbox alleging that Abrams and German had steered another contract for an unrelated sole-source construction project for a backup power generator shed at an off-site TFD facility. The complaint alleged that the $350,000 shed contract was wasteful because it cost more than the generator it housed and was actually a disguised payback for various illegal gratuities enjoyed by Abrams and German.

To modify an old saying, where there’s smoke, someone usually gets burned. In this case, the careers of these two federal procurement superstars were about to implode into supernovas after it was discovered that they had ...

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