Project Engineer, Prime Contractor Employees, and Subcontractor Charged with Conspiracy to Bribe State Official in Connection with Federally Funded Highway Project
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Louisiana
September 28, 2009
NEW ORLEANS, LA—JEFFERY MARTIN BENTLEY, a/k/a Jeff Bentley, age 52, a resident of Muscadine, Alabama, a former employee of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and de facto project engineer on a project for widening and improvements to the Interstate 10 highway in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, ALBERT F. ANDRE JR., a/k/a Buddy Andre, age 53, a resident of Slidell, Louisiana, and JASON ADRIAN GUY, age 38, a resident of Madisonville, Louisiana, both former employees of the prime contractor, and HARRY JOSEPH LABICHE, JR., age 69, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, a plumbing subcontractor, were charged today in a one-count bill of information with conspiracy to bribe a state official in connection with a program receiving federal funds, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the Bill of Information, BENTLEY, ANDRE, GUY and LABICHE agreed that inflated invoices for pipe cleaning on The I-10 Project would be submitted by LABICHE’s plumbing company to Company A, identified as the prime contractor on The I-10 Project, and when paid, the four defendants would share in the proceeds. The Bill of Information charges that LABICHE submitted to Company A a total of $323,422.55 in invoices for pipe cleaning allegedly performed. It is alleged that the value of the pipe cleaning work actually performed on the I-10 Project by LABICHE’s company was no more than $28,837.00, and multiple invoices were submitted for pipe cleaning work on The I-10 Project, billing for work which was never performed.
BENTLEY, ANDRE, LABICHE and GUY each face a possible maximum penalty of five (5) years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. Attorney Letten reiterated that a Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Louisiana State Police, and the United States Attorney’s Office. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Eileen Gleason.
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