The Washington Post

IT contractor sentenced to 1 year for bribing Postal Service official

A Rockville IT company owner who prosecutors say paid tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to a U.S. Postal Service official for information to help his firm win lucrative government contracts was sentenced to a year and a day in prison Friday, authorities said.

Federal prosecutors had asked that Adel Elaraby, 40, owner of a Rockville-based company called AH Computer Consulting Inc., be sentenced to two years and three months in prison for bribing the official. They wrote in court filings that he paid the official, Gene Quarles, $40,000 from April 2010 to June 2012. In exchange, prosecutors wrote, Quarles gave Elaraby confidential information about government contracts and even let him listen in surreptitiously on conference calls between Postal Service officials.

AH Computer Consulting has been paid $31 million for work on government contracts since 2006, prosecutors wrote.

Quarles pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme and was sentenced in May to a year and a half in prison. Elaraby’s wife, Heba Elaraby, a co-owner of the company, also admitted to paying bribes and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with prosecutors this year. Elaraby himself pleaded guilty to bribery of a public official in April.

Defense attorneys argued that Elaraby, of Gaithersburg, paid the bribes so the government would pay his company’s invoices on time, and that his company never overbilled the government or performed any work unsatisfactorily. In court filings, they called his sentencing “a tragic end to a tale of an immigrant Egyptian family who achieved success through hard work and sacrifice.”

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.


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