RICHMOND, VA—Connie Richardson, 65, of Richmond, was sentenced today to 24 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds. Richardson was also ordered to pay $158,428.09 in restitution.
Richardson pleaded guilty on May 13, 2015. According to court documents, Richardson was employed by the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (VDJJ) as the Runaway Coordinator. In that role, Richardson was responsible for administering services related to the interstate compact for juveniles, which governs the transportation of juveniles from one state to another. Christopher C. Connor, 37, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was the owner of Patriot Protective Services, Inc. (Patriot), a security company based in Norfolk, Virginia. In September 2010, VDJJ issued an invitation for bids soliciting sealed bids from contractors interested in providing transportation and escort services for juvenile offenders returning to the Virginia. In October 2010, Patriot and another security company, Border Security Solutions, LLC (Border), were awarded contracts to provide transportation and escort services to VDJJ for a period of two years, with an option to renew the contracts for three successive years. One week after the contracts were awarded, Connor paid Richardson $1,500 and continued to make periodic payments to Richardson from October 2010 through February 2015. During that period of time, Connor paid Richardson over $30,000 via cash, checks, deposits to a prepaid Visa card, and transfers between SunTrust bank accounts.
In exchange for these payments from Connor, Richardson steered the vast majority of VDJJ’s transportation and escort requests to Patriot. She also knowingly approved inflated and falsified invoices submitted to Patriot. Richardson was informed by Border’s owner that his company had the capacity to transport more juveniles and charged less per hour for transportation and escort services than Patriot. Nonetheless, Richardson stopped assigning any new work to Border and Border closed for lack of business in September 2011.
As a result of the relationship between Richardson and Connor, VDJJ paid Patriot over $469,000 for transportation and escort services from October 2010 through February 2015.
Connor pleaded guilty on July 28, 2015 and will be sentenced on Oct. 29, 2015.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Virginia State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Lee Martin prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 3:15-cr-78 and 3:15-cr-133.
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