Anthony Bueno arranged for undercover FBI agent to make payments to VA official Dwane Nevins for purpose of manipulating government contracting process
DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced today that Anthony Bueno, age 45, was sentenced to serve 30 months in federal prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for his role in a conspiracy to bribe a VA official so that clients of his company would gain an unfair advantage in the VA contracting process. Bueno was remanded into custody immediately after the sentencing hearing. The FBI’s Denver Field Office and the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, Central Field Office joined in today’s announcement.
According to court records, Bueno and his business partner, Robert Revis, agreed to help an undercover FBI agent, who was posing as a veteran and small business owner, bribe a contracting specialist at the VA’s Network Contracting Office in Colorado, Dwane Nevins. As part of the bribery scheme, Bueno and Revis, working with Nevins, agreed to submit bids from small businesses owned by veterans disabled during military service (one of whom was the undercover FBI agent) under contract with Buenon and Revis’ consulting company so that federal contracts would be set aside for only those companies. As Bueno explained to the undercover agent, the conspirators would then “own all the dogs on the track”, meaning their clients were guaranteed to get the contracts. Bueno, Revis and Nevins worked to conceal the nature of the bribe payments by either kicking back to Nevins a portion of the payments made to the consulting company, or by asking the consulting company’s clients to pay Nevins directly for sham training classes related to federal contracting.
Dwane Nevins, who pleaded guilty in September 2019 to every count of an indictment charging him with this scheme, including counts of conspiracy, receiving bribes, extortion, and criminal conflicts of interests, is scheduled to be sentenced on February 19, 2020. Robert Revis pleaded guilty in April 2019 to an Information charging him with a single count of supplementing the salary of a federal official. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 2, 2020. Bueno pleaded guilty on September 17, 2019.
Bueno has also pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money arising from a completely separate wire fraud scheme in which he used false representations about investment opportunities to take over a million dollars from several victims. Sentencing in that case, pending before United States District Judge William J. Martinez, is scheduled for January 23, 2019.
“Illegally manipulating the government contracting process will result in harsh consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “Mr. Bueno will now have more than 2 years in federal prison and a lifetime as a convicted felon to think about the harm he caused taxpayers.”
“As today’s sentencing of Anthony Bueno demonstrates, we will continue to hold accountable those individuals who, at the expense of our veterans and taxpayers, engage in corrupt schemes to defraud the government," said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips.
“This sentence illustrates the serious consequences of undermining the federal contracting process,” said Gregg Hirstein, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. “We will always hold accountable those who seek to corrupt the VA’s business practices.”
The case was jointly investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, with substantial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General.
The defendant was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bryan D. Fields and Hetal J. Doshi.