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Posted at 05:47 PM ET, 10/24/2011

2 years in prison for government worker in kickback scheme

A 45-year-old General Services Administration employee was sentenced Monday to more than two years in prison for accepting kickbacks from government contractors.

Eric Minor, who had previously pleaded guilty to one count of bribery, was the last of 11 GSA employees or contractors to be sentenced for their roles in separate bribery schemes, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that Minor collected about $118,000 in kickback payments on work he awarded companies between 2007 and 2010 when he was a GSA customer service manager.

Minor’s job required him to hire companies to make minor repairs and alterations at space owned or leased by GSA. He paid for the work — up to $2,500 per job — with a government-issued credit card, prosecutors said.

When federal agents raided his home last year, they discovered more than $70,000 in cash stuffed in a box, prosecutors said.

Besides sending Minor to prison, U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina also ordered the Upper Marlboro man to pay $118,000 in restitution to the government. Minor was allowed to apply the $70,000 seized at his house toward that amount; on Monday, he wrote a check for $46,000 to make up the difference.

Minor cried in court as he told Urbina that he was sorry for his conduct and that he was “a compassionate person” who deserved leniency. But the judge said that Minor deserved prison time, noting that the GSA employee — who is to resign Tuesday — took kickbacks on more than 300 small contracts he had awarded.

“Why did you keep on taking this money over and over and over again,” Urbina asked Minor.

“Stupidity, your honor,” Minor replied.

Federal prosecutors had asked Urbina to send Minor to prison for at least 37 months. However, Urbina said he believed that Minor had lived an otherwise unblemished life and felt that 2 1/2 years was appropriate. He added that he felt Minor “was a good man driven by greed.”

By  |  05:47 PM ET, 10/24/2011

Categories:  Del Quentin Wilber, From the Courthouse

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