Denver VA Official Charged With Taking Bribes, Extortion

<p>(AP Photo)</p>
<p>The Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington, D.C.</p>
Photo: Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C. (AP)
The Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington, D.C.

A Denver U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs official has been charged with taking bribes to help two businessmen rig federal contracting processes.

VA small business specialist Dwane Nevins was charged Wednesday with extortion, accepting bribes and violating the federal conflict of interest statute.

According to the Department of Justice, the indictment states Nevins agreed to take bribes from two business associates and an undercover FBI agent. The indictment also claimed Nevins used his official position to extort $10,000 from the undercover agent, who was posing as a small business owner.

Contractors Robert Revis and Anthony Bueno were charged with paying or conspiring to pay bribes in exchange for an opportunity to commit fraud against a government agency. The Department of Justice said Nevis took the bribes with the intention of manipulating the process for bidding on two federal contracts with the VA.

“Revis and Bueno, working with Nevins, agreed to submit fraudulent bids from service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses under contract with their consulting company so that federal contracts would be set aside for only those companies,” said Jeff Dorschner, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman, in a statement.

The contracts in question were both related to medical equipment for VA facilities.

This case was jointly investigated by the FBI, the VA Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General.