Swindler Gets Federal Prison Sentence For Bribing Travis AFB Official
A native of Afghanistan, 41, now a naturalized American citizen, was sentenced September 25 to two years in federal prison.
Lida Amin had bribed an Air Force official in charge of procurement contracts at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield. She intended to collude with the official to fake low-bid contracts by means of dummy corporations. The conspiracy, according to Federal prosecutors, began in 2013 with negotiations for goods to be supplied to Travis Air Force Base.
The planeload of bogus goods consisting of medical clothing and bed linens arrived at Travis without incident. Their value was pegged at a few dollars less than $250,000, which was the maximum Amin’s corporation had been awarded under the contract negotiated six months previously. However, upon being washed for the first time, the clothing, which had been manufactured in India, “fell apart,” according to a Fairfield Daily Republic report. In other words, $250,000 worth of medical clothing was turned into “a pile of useless rags with the dyes running and drawstrings fraying,” federal prosecutors informed U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller.
The bribed official, Jeron S. Rochon, had originally met Amin in Budapest, Hungary in 2012 to plan their conspiracy. They had, prosecutors said, spoken about how Rochon would award Amin a series of contracts. In return, Amin would pay Rochon with 20 to 30 Rolex watches worth $10,000 apiece. This payment method, leaving no paper or electronic trail, would allow the conspirators to avoid being traced through banking systems. Thus, Amin thought she had stymied any potential investigators.
Unfortunately for her, little did Amin know that investigators had uncovered her plot. Federal agents had already caught Rochon. He agreed to be part of a sting to snare Amin; he secretly recorded their conversations in Prague. According to investigators who listened in, Amin “jumped at the chance” to work the bogus medical clothing scam with Rochon; she had previously bribed him over military contracts in her native Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008.
At the sentencing hearing before Judge Mueller, Lida Amin began to cry. She admitted she had committed “unhonorable acts.” Mueller did modify the three and a half year sentence in federal prison that prosecutors had recommended.
Daily Republic: Feds: Woman bribed AF official for contracts