The former director of leasing for the U.S. government in the New England region has pleaded guilty to receiving illegal gratuity in a corrupt scheme.
Kevin Richards, 51, of Hanover pleaded guilty to one count of receiving an illegal gratuity as a public official and two counts of making false statements to a federal agency on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV has scheduled sentencing for July 12.
Richards served as the New England leasing director for the U.S. General Services Administration, where he has worked since 1992. He had a side job working for a Duxbury real estate agency, which he was permitted to have as long as he disclosed it and the money he made there, where he received commissions of $9,425 in 2017 and $15,392 in 2018.
The GSA “is the procurement agency of the United States government,” according to charging documents. “It obtains and provides goods and services — for example, office space, office supplies, and information technology — that are necessary for federal employees to do their jobs.”
As director, Richards was responsible for hiring people for the leasing office. The feds say that in April 2020, Richards manipulated the hiring process to hire the owner of the real estate agency and then secured a salary for the person of $102, 517, or about $17,000 more than normal.
Richards then started receiving commissions from real estate dealings again and falsely told GSA ethics officers that he he “did not do any outside business last year.”
The charges of making false statements to a federal agency carry sentences of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of receiving an illegal gratuity as a public official can carry a sentence of up to two years, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
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