United States: San Diego Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Launder Almost $600,000 from Department of Defense Bribery Scheme

Liberty Gutierrez pleaded guilty today to conspiring to launder the proceeds of a bribery scheme involving a former employee of the Naval Information Warfare Center in San Diego, California, and various defense contractors.

According to Gutierrez’s plea agreement, the Naval Information Warfare Center employee, identified in court documents as “Individual-1,” solicited and accepted things of value from various defense contractors, including three defense contractors identified in her plea agreement as Contractor-1, Contractor-2, and Contractor-3.

Among these gifts were jobs for friends and family, tickets to premier sporting events, and expensive dinners.  Gutierrez further admitted that Individual-1 solicited jobs for Gutierrez from these contractors.  Although Gutierrez was employed full-time at a real estate and mortgage company in San Diego from April 2015 to February 2021, Individual-1 nonetheless obtained “full-time” jobs for Gutierrez at Contractor-1 from approximately October 2015 to September 2018; Contractor-2 from approximately April 2017 to July 2019; and Contractor-3 from approximately October 2018 to December 2019.

As part of her plea agreement, Gutierrez admitted to doing only minimal work at each of these jobs, and then falsely billing her time as if she were working full time on a government contract. Each of the contractors then passed along Gutierrez’s fraudulent labor charges to the United States Government for payment.  Gutierrez further admitted that she agreed to give Individual-1 half of her salary from Contractor-2, or approximately $2,000 every month, in cash, some of which Individual-1 stashed in his golf bag.  In total, Gutierrez kicked back over $60,000 in cash to Individual-1 under this arrangement.  As part of the conspiracy, Individual-1 additionally secured a job for his wife at Contractor-1 in approximately January 2017.

The original full article can be found at justice.gov

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