William D. Opp, a former construction contractor, was the second person to plead guilty to a bid-rigging and bribery scheme involving improvement and repair contracts with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
The arrest and subsequent guilty pleas result from a joint law enforcement effort to fight against antitrust crimes and associated plans to defraud the government.
Rigging Bids and Committing Bribery Mean Big Time Fines
From 2015 to 2018, Opp engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct Caltrans' competitive bidding process so that the contracts were given to companies he or his co-conspirators controlled. Additionally, he was found to be paying bribes to Choon Foo “Keith” Yong, who used to work as a contract manager at Caltrans.
For rigging the bidding process, Opp faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 years incarcerated and a fine of up to $1 million – or twice the total monetary loss that resulted from the actions. And for the bribery actions, he faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years incarcerated and a fine of up to $250,000 – or twice the total monetary loss resulting from the incidents.
Anticompetitive Conduct Goes Against Federal Funding
When Opp and his co-conspirators engaged in bid-rigging and bribery, they only thought about winning contracts. This type of greedy behavior is what led the Department of Justice to create its joint law enforcement task force in the first place.
In the United States, defendants tend to plead guilty when facing serious incarceration time or the prosecution is promising highly compelling evidence if the matter moves to trial. No matter how strong the evidence against you is, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the nuances of criminal court, lessening any unnecessary consequences you might face.