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Engineer Gets 2.5 Years in Prison for Bribery, Fraud

The Hawaiian engineer gave cash, vehicles and gifts for $10 million in contracts.

A Hawaiian engineer was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for bribing public officials in Hawaii and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

53-year-old Frank James Lyon pleaded guilty to paying $250,000 to Hawaiian officials to secure $2.5 million in state contracts. The bribes secured work for Lyon’s engineering and consulting company in Hawaii.

Lyon also admitted to bribes that led to nearly $8 million in contracts in Micronesia.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Lyon pleaded guilty on Jan. 22 to conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit federal program fraud. On Monday, May 13, 2019, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his involvement.

Lyon admitted that he and his co-conspirators paid bribes to foreign officials in Micronesia as well as to Hawaii state officials in exchange for contracts valued at more than $10 million. He paid off Micronesian and Hawaiian officials with cash, but Micronesian officials also received vehicles, gifts and entertainment.

According to the DOJ, 44-year-old Master Halbert, a Micronesian citizen and government official, pleaded guilty on April 2, to conspiracy to commit money laundering.  

Halbert was a government official in the FSM Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure who administered FSM’s aviation programs, including the management of its airports.

Lyon not only bribed Halbert in exchange for assistance in securing contracts but allegedly agreed that these bribes would be transported from the United States to FSM.

Halbert is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29, 2019.

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