Guilty plea in
VA bribery scheme

A Maryland man pleaded guilty Monday to bribing a public official to steer more than $2.2 million from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to a fraudulent information technology school with services for disabled veterans, federal authorities said.

Albert S. Poawui, 41, of Laurel, owned Atius Technology Institute, a non-accredited information technology school, the Justice Department said in a statement.

In 2015, Poawui and a vocational counselor at VA agreed Poawui would pay the official a 7 percent cash kickback for VA payments to Atius, ostensibly for vocational training for disabled veterans, the statement said.

Between 2015 and 2017, VA paid Atius more than $2.2 million, according to the statement, for inflated invoices that showed veterans attending classes for 32 hours per week when the program offered only six hours weekly.

One VA counselor received more than $155,000 for participating in the kickback scheme, prosecutors said, and another was also involved. Another employee of Atius also helped Poawui conceal the scheme after VA initiated an audit, prosecutors said.

— Justin Wm. Moyer

Sen. Kamala Harris
endorses Alsobrooks

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) is backing State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks in the race for Prince George’s County executive, citing her “strong track record of getting things done.”

Alsobrooks worked with Harris to implement a program to reduce recidivism in Prince George’s after Harris launched the initiative in California. She also campaigned on Harris’s behalf when the California Democrat ran for U.S. Senate in 2014.

The other major candidates vying for the Democratic nomination — which in Democratic Prince George’s is tantamount to winning the election — are former congresswoman Donna F. Edwards and state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s).

— Rachel Chason

Two die in crashes
in Pr. George's County

Two people died in separate traffic crashes late Sunday and early Monday in Prince George’s County, officials said.

Daniel Navarro-Caravantes, of Clinton, was killed about 10:50 p.m. Sunday in the 8300 block of Temple Hill Road in Clinton, the police said. For undetermined reasons, his car left the road and hit a light pole, police said.

In the second crash, Samuel Oriloye, 22, of Lanham, died when two cars collided head-on about 1:30 a.m. Monday on Glenn Dale Boulevard in the Glenn Dale area, police said. They said he was apparently driving the wrong way in the southbound lanes, for reasons not yet determined.

The cause of both crashes is under investigation, according to police. It was unclear if heavy rain in the area played a role.

— Dana Hedgpeth, Martin Weil