Military contractor pleads guilty to rigging bids for public contracts in Texas, Michigan

TEXAS – A Texas military contractor pleaded guilty Wednesday to rigging bids on public military contracts in Texas and Michigan, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

John “Mark” Leveritt, 62, admitted to rigging bids on government contracts from at least May 2013 through April 2018.

According to court documents, Leveritt conspired with others to rig bids on certain government contracts in order to give the false impression of competition and to secure government payments in excess of $17.5 million. The plea agreement detailed seven contracting bids that Leveritt and his co-conspirator rigged, which included work performed for the Red River Army Depot in Texarkana and the U.S. Contracting Command in Warren, Michigan.

Prosecutors said Leveritt also admitted to falsely representing himself to be an employee of one business so that he could obtain government contracts that were set aside for qualifying businesses that were required to be owned and operated by certain categories of minority, disadvantaged or disabled persons. In fact, the work for some of the contracts was performed by businesses that had not placed any bids. Leveritt also admitted to providing a government employee with: tickets to a 2011 World Series game, tickets to two college football games, two expense-paid family vacations to Las Vegas, donations to youth sports teams coached by the government employee and approximately 100 meals at restaurants, according to a release.

“U.S. taxpayers deserve to know that the government contracting process is not subverted through collusion,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Bid rigging undermines the competitive process, wastes taxpayer dollars and deprives businesses that follow the rules of the right to fair competition. Investigating and prosecuting this case and others involving government contracting is a top priority for the Department of Justice and all members of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force.”

Leveritt pleaded guilty to a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. He now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million criminal fine. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other relevant factors.

About the Author:

Award-winning journalist, mother, YouTuber, social media guru, millennial, mentor, storyteller, University of Houston alumna and Houston-native.