HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- A Farr West man convicted of engaging in bribery and fraud relating to federal contracts at Hill Air Force Base has been sentenced to 24 months in prison.
Jose Mendez, 52, was a procurement program manager for the U.S. Air Force Foreign Materials Acquisition Support Office at Hill. Mendez was originally indicted in October 2011 and pleaded guilty to all charges.
The sentence was imposed Wednesday at Salt Lake City by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball.
Earlier this month, Sylvester Zugrav, 70, co-owner of Florida-based Atlas International Trading Co., was sentenced to serve 15 months in federal prison in addition to three years under supervised release and a fine of $10,000 for his role in the scheme.
Zugrav's wife and Atlas co-owner Maria Zugrav, 67, received two years' probation.
According to court documents, Atlas International contracted to provide foreign military materials to the U.S. government through Mendez's office.
In his plea agreement, Sylvester Zugrav said that from 2008 through 2011, he gave Mendez more than $180,000 in bribe payments, and offered Mendez more than $1 million more to ensure Atlas would receive future contracts with FMASO.
In exchange for the bribe payments and offers, Mendez ensured that Atlas received favorable treatment in connection with procurement contracts, including assisting Atlas in obtaining and maintaining procurement contracts; assisting Atlas in receiving payments on such contracts; and providing Atlas with contract bid or proposal information before the award of procurement contracts.
According to court records, Sylvester Zugrav provided bribe payments to Mendez in three ways: Cash payments via Federal Express to Mendez's residential address; in-person payments of cash and other things of value; and electronic wire transfers to a bank account in Mexico opened by, and in the name of, Mendez's cousin.
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