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Corruption in Government Contracts: Bribery, Kickbacks, Bid-Rigging and the Rest (From Prosecution of Public Corruption Cases, P 15-27, 1988, U.S. Department of Justice -- See NCJ-110010)

NCJ Number
J R Hailman
Date Published
13 pages
Corruption -- bribery, extortion, bid-rigging, and kickbacks -- poses a major problem for local, State, and Federal Governments.
Operation PRETENSE, an undercover effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted in Mississippi, focused on corruption in county government contract purchasing. This operation found evidence of almost every form of corruption. These included supervisors who demanded and got payoffs, government purchasing agents who in their personal capacity extorted cash or 'gifts' from victim companies afraid of being shut out of lucrative contracts, kickbacks, and fictitious invoices for invisible supplies and phantom employees. Also uncovered was widespread bid-rigging, resulting in noncompetitive bids and inflated profits for local highway construction, heavy equipment, and automobile and truck repair companies. In PRETENSE, the investigative technique used involved an actual company run by agents posing as crooked salesmen and an office manager. In addition to covert activities, the usual white-collar crime investigative techniques were used, including search warrants and audits. The mail fraud statute, the Hobbs Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act have been useful in prosecuting government contract corruption.