Saturday, May 14, 2011

Detroit Area Postal Employees Charged With Accepting Cash, Lap Dances, Prostitutes in Bribery Probe

Five employees of the US Postal service have been indicted for accepting cash, cars, tickets to major sporting events, drinks and lap dances at a strip club, home improvements and trysts with $300 prostitutes in exchange for steering maintenance work on government vehicles towards garages owned by an unnamed contractor.
Much of the vehicle work was done in southeastern Michigan, although the government says the corruption stretched to Akron, Ohio, where one of the workers was transferred in 2007 to become manager of vehicle maintenance.

The contractor billed the Postal Service more than $13 million to fix vehicles over a seven-year period. There is no allegation that costs were inflated, said Scott Balfour, an agent with the Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

"The work was actually performed, from body work to engine work, anything that a normal garage would do," Balfour said. "This contractor influenced these people to direct work to the contractor. … They're not supposed to accept bribes."

The indictment says Bruce Plumb, 61, of Brownstown Township, Mich., accepted a variety of bribes, from drinks and lap dances at a strip club to a $3,000 brick patio at his home.

Balfour said the investigation began with tips from postal employees. He declined to say whether the contractor was cooperating with agents.
The Detroit Free Press detailed some of the allegations against Plumb and 4 others.
• Plumb accepted thousands of dollars in drinks and lap dances at a local strip club, got a $3,000 paver patio installed in his backyard and the contractor treated Plumb to visits from a prostitute and erectile dysfunction pills. He also got more than $8,000 in work done on a grandson's truck.

• Adams got more than $60,000 in cash, a 1997 Chevrolet Malibu; thousands of dollars in car parts and service; a $40,000 loan for the purchase of a condominium; tickets to Lions, Tigers, Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers games; golf outings, and a $4,000 heating and cooling unit for his home.

• Robinson took more than $65,000 in cash, thousands of dollars in work on cars, a 2001 Chrysler minivan and a custom-modified, high-performance Ford Pinto.

• Holmes got more than $6,000 in cash.

• Gorski took $2,000 in cash; a 1999 Pontiac minivan; Pistons, Lions, and University of Michigan football tickets; and thousands of dollars in gift cards.
The indictments come around the same time as the Postal Service announced estimated losses exceeding $2.2 billion for the 2nd quarter of FY 2011. That's more than the $1.6 billion in losses for the same time during FY 2010 reported last year.

[Hat tip: Friends of Ours]

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