Wife of former VRE employee Kevin Jannell pleads guilty to concealing bribes

December 21, 2012

The wife of a former VRE employee pleaded guilty in Alexandria federal court Friday of helping conceal bribes her husband accepted while working for the rail agency, according to a news release.

Angela Jannell, 50, of Fredericksburg was the latest to plead guilty in an ongoing FBI probe of VRE, according to a news release from Eastern District U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. Jannell, whose husband pleaded guilty to taking more than $200,000 in bribes to ensure a subcontractor was retained by the rail agency, knew of the illegal scheme and signed paperwork that set up a shell company used to conceal the bribes, according to a criminal complaint.

The money was used to pay household bills and other expenses, and the pair is in the process of getting a divorce, court documents say.

Jannell faces a maximum of three years in prison on one count of misprision of a felony when she is scheduled to be sentenced March 15.

Jannell’s lawyer, Denise Jakabcin Tassi, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Her husband, Kevin Jannell, 49, also of Fredericksburg, was the former facilities manager at the rail agency and provided oversight of contracts for maintenance at VRE stations.

From 2003 through March 2012, Kevin Jannell conspired with a person from a company identified only as “Company A” to receive monthly deposits of about $4,000, according to court documents. He gave the company positive internal evaluations and spoke with the primary maintenance contractor’s executives to help ensure that the company was retained as a subcontractor.

The Washington Post reported the existence of the FBI’s investigation into the kickback scheme in August.

Mark Roeber, a VRE spokesman, has said that the arrangement involved a subcontractor who was hired as part of a five-year, $2.6 million contract for landscaping, trash removal and other maintenance work.

A copy of a subcontractor’s invoice obtained by The Post indicated that a $3,000 payment for “consulting services” was paid to a company owned by the former employee. That’s the scheme that prosecutors outlined in court documents. Jannell sought to keep the payments secret by having them deposited into a shell company’s account.

Jannell garnered between $200,000 and $400,000 in the scheme, court documents say.

Kevin Jannell is expected to be sentenced Jan. 18 and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Jeremy Borden covers Prince William County, Va., for The Washington Post.
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