Audrey Strauss, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael Speckhardt, the special agent in charge of the United States Department of State, Office of the Inspector General, today announced the arrest of SINA MOAYEDI, owner of a construction company. , on charges of corruption and fraud. MOAYEDI was arrested in Castleton, Virginia, and will be presented later today in the Western District of Virginia before US Justice of the Peace Joel C. Hoppe.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney General Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Sina Moayedi made false statements about the qualifications of her employees and the ownership of her company in order to induce the State Department to award approximately $ 100 million. dollars in lucrative construction contracts to Moayedi’s company, Montage, Inc. allegedly cultivated a State Department insider and paid him lucrative bribes in exchange for confidential information about the Department’s tenders of state. Moayedi must now be held accountable for his alleged brazen fraud against the government.
Special Agent in Charge Michael Speckhardt said: “As alleged, the Respondent’s ploy to undermine the Department’s procurement process for personal gain caught up with him today and he will now be held accountable. His alleged actions not only harm other legitimate businesses competing for rewards, but also undermine public confidence in the effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
According to the allegations of the complaint:
Montage, Inc. (“Montage”) is a United States-based company that is primarily involved in global government construction projects, including embassies, military posts, consulates, and similar properties held abroad and operated by the United States government. Montage has done over $ 220 million in contract work for the U.S. government including Department of Defense, Department of Justice / Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of State, Department of Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Space Administration (“NASA”), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since 2014, Montage appears to have focused primarily on competition and securing contracts with the State Department. During this period, the State Department awarded Montage approximately six U.S. Embassy / Consulate overseas construction contracts totaling $ 100 million, in locations such as Ecuador, the Spain, Sudan, Czech Republic and Bermuda. The founder of Montage is SINA MOAYEDI.
Montage has engaged in at least two fraud schemes. The first ploy alleges that, from around 2014 to September 2020, MOAYEDI and Montage lied that it was a woman-owned business in order to gain undeserved benefits in the bidding process. As a background, it is advantageous for a company, when submitting bids for federal government contracts, to be majority owned by a person from a socially or economically disadvantaged community. In fact, some contracts (or parts of contracts) are “reserved” for – that is to say, available only for – these companies. MOAYEDI and Montage have repeatedly erroneously stated in submissions to the State Department that Montage is owned by women, or owned by women and belonging to minorities, in order to falsely induce the State Department to attribute à Setting up lucrative construction contracts. In fact, MOAYEDI has repeatedly lied that Montage was a woman-owned business, and indeed, MOAYEDI controls Montage and makes all major decisions on behalf of Montage. As MOAYEDI revealed to a bank that inquired about Montage’s ownership status, “I am the sole owner and president of Montage and always have been.” Montage and MOAYEDI have also repeatedly distorted and greatly overestimated the qualifications of Montage employees. MOAYEDI made these false claims in order, among other things, to meet State Department and contractual requirements for minimal experience in certain key positions.
The second scheme complained of in the complaint is a bribery scheme for at least 2016 and 2017. Insider-1 is employed in the Department of State’s Overseas Building Operations (“OBO”), which, according to the OBO website , “Leads the global overseas construction program. for the Department of State and the U.S. government community serving overseas. Specifically, Insider-1 works for the Department of State’s OBO Project Development and Coordination Division, European Division. For overseas construction projects, the State Department has a Technical Assessment Committee (TEP) that reviews all aspects of the offeror’s plan to complete the project. The TEP has the power to disqualify a bidder. Insider-1 oversaw the TEP for the Hamilton, Bermuda project – a project that was assigned to Montage. At least in 2016 and 2017, MOAYEDI paid bribes to Insider-1 in exchange for confidential State Department information relating to a multi-million dollar contract in Bermuda, for which Montage was then bidding. As part of the bidding process for the Bermuda project, Insider-1 informed MOAYEDI, in sum and substance, that: Its bid was low; Montage could increase its bid by $ 300,000 and still be the lowest bidder; and he would have to return 20 percent, or $ 60,000, to Insider-1 in return for that information. Soon after, Montage increased its bid by nearly $ 1 million. In a letter accompanying the revised offer, MOAYEDI falsely represented to the State Department that Montage’s revised offer was due to “an arithmetic error in our estimation worksheets.” MOAYEDI then paid Insider-1 $ 60,000 in cash, in three separate payments, using two men as intermediaries.
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MOAYEDI, 66, of Chevy Chase, Md., Is charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, each carrying a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a count of corrupting an audience. official, punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.
The maximum potential penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only; any conviction of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Ms. Strauss praised the exceptional investigative work of the State Department, the Office of the Inspector General, special agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and the Internal Revenue Service. She also thanked the Special Constables of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department.
The Office’s Complex Fraud and Cybercrime Unit is handling this criminal case. The American assistant lawyers Michael D. Neff and Louis A. Pellegrino are in charge of the prosecutions.
 As the opening sentence indicates, the entire text of the complaint and the description of the complaint below constitute allegations only, and each fact described should be treated as an allegation.