Wife of Former VRE Employee Pleads Guilty for Concealing More Than $200,000 in Bribes
On December 21, 2012, Angela Jannell, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Alexandria, Virginia, to misprision of a felony for concealing her husband's action of taking more than $200,000 in bribes to ensure a Virginia Railway Express (VRE) subcontractor would be retained by VRE. VRE is a grantee of the U.S. Department of Transportation that receives millions of dollars each year to help improve passenger and freight rail service.
OIG's investigation revealed that from 2003 and continuing through March 2012, Jannell's husband agreed to take up to $4,000 per month in return for giving favorable evaluations that would ensure an individual and this person's company would be retained as a subcontractor for VRE. Jannell knew of this illegal arrangement. Her husband concealed the bribes by sending monthly invoices to the subcontractor from a fraudulent company and falsely billing the company for services that were never rendered. Jannell signed the paperwork to create the fraudulent company for which she was the President. She was also aware that the company was used to conceal the wrongful nature of the payments from the subcontractor. Jannell's husband was responsible for oversight of VRE contracts for individuals and companies providing landscaping and maintenance of VRE stations and facilities.
The investigation disclosed that the total amount of bribes paid was between $200,000 and $400,000. Jannell used the money to pay for household bills and expenses.
This is a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.