Law enforcement opened an investigation of an official at the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology and others in 2013 based on allegations that the official had accepted cash from people scheduled to take board examinations.
The official admitted in court that on three different occasions, he met with an individual whose wife was supposedly trying to obtain a cosmetology license.
Each time, the official gave the person answers to an upcoming board examination in exchange for $500 in cash. The official used his cellular telephone to arrange the meetings, which took place on various dates in 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Winn E. Johnson, age 71, of Boyce, Louisiana, was charged with two counts of using the telephone in aid of bribery. In a court appearance, Johnson pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson.
Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street commented: “We have zero tolerance for those who compromise the integrity of government in exchange for monetary gain. It undermines the entire system and is an enormous disservice to the taxpayers. We will continue working to make sure that anyone who does this faces criminal consequences.”
Former Post Office Manager Sentenced for Bribery
He was the U.S. Postal Service station manager of the Waverly Station in Baltimore, Maryland. As such, he had authority to contract for landscaping, snow removal and cleaning services at the post office he managed and bill those services to the postal service for payment.
From 2007 to 2013, the manager created, approved and submitted inflated invoices for maintenance work allegedly performed at his post office. The proceeds were split with the providers of the services.
For example, the manager accepted money from a co-conspirator who owned a landscaping company after submitting inflated invoices.
He also solicited and received bribes from Ladeena Sketers-Anderson, who operated Keep U Clean cleaning service. Sketers-Anderson received postal service payments approved by the manager for services allegedly provided at the manager’s post office. Sketers-Anderson then issued checks to a cleaning company owned by the manager, which he cashed.
In all, the manager submitted $591,791 worth of invoices in exchange for bribes.
Richard Lewis Wright, III, age 47, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 40 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for bribery. Wright was also ordered to forfeit and pay restitution of $501,791.
Another postal service station manager and service providers were also convicted in connection with this case.