Sacramento, California - Two defendants were sentenced today in the Northern District of Texas for conspiring to bribe public officials in Afghanistan and Texas in furtherance of an ongoing effort to secure government contracts through graft, Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, and Sarah R. Saldaña, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, announced.
United States District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn in the Northern District of Texas sentenced Lida Amin, 40, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Dublin, California, and Sohail Amin, 30, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Fremont, California, to three years and six months in prison. Judge Lynn ordered Lida Amin’s sentence to be served consecutively to a previous sentence for a total of five and a half years in prison.
On October 22, 2013, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Texas indicted Lida Amin, Sohail Amin, and Jeron Shelton Rochon, 32, of Houston, Texas, charging them with conspiracy to bribe public officials. On June 17, 2014, Lida Amin and Sohail Amin pleaded guilty, but the charges against Rochon remain pending. The charges against Rochon are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
According to court documents, between 2007 and 2010, Sohail Amin and Lida Amin, both private government contractors, conspired with Rochon, a member of the U.S. Air Force, and others to bribe U.S. Air Force contracting officers in order to obtain military procurement contracts. Between October 2007 and June 2008, in exchange for bribe offers and bribe payments made by Sohail Amin, Rochon issued government contracts and provided contract bid coaching to Sohail Amin and Lida Amin. Sohail Amin paid bribes to Rochon in cash in both Afghanistan and Dallas, Texas, and instructed Rochon not to deposit large sums of money into the banking system to avoid the reporting of such deposits by banks. According to court documents, the U.S. Air Force paid nearly $1 million for defective M-16 cleaning kits and a security fence that fell down shortly after it was installed.
This case was filed in Texas with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. Lida Amin and her brother Nabil Amin have also been charged in a separate federal criminal case in Sacramento, which relates to similar charges. Lida Amin previously entered a guilty plea in the Sacramento case and was sentenced on September 24, 2014, to a two-year term of imprisonment. Nabil Amin’s case is currently scheduled for a status conference on December 10, 2014. The charges against him are pending and are only allegations. He is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The charges filed in the Eastern District of California and the Northern District of Texas are the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Air Force, Office of Special Investigations; the Fremont Police Department; and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs; and the Czech National Police. Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Beckwith is prosecuting the case.