January 22, 2019
Hawaiian Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy, and His Micronesian Accomplice Is Charged Via Criminal Complaint
On January 22, 2019, Frank James Lyon, president of Lyon Associates, Inc., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Honolulu, Hawaii, to conspiring to make corrupt payments to government officials. On January 24, Master Halbert, a citizen from the Federated States of Micronesia, was charged via criminal complaint in the same court with conspiracy to commit money laundering. Halbert was arrested and arraigned on February 11, 2019.
Lyon was charged with bribing Hawaiian and Micronesian officials in order to enable his engineering company to obtain, retain, and receive payments for contracts, including one funded by FAA’s Airport Improvement Program. Between 2006 and 2016, he made bribe payments of at least $200,000 to Micronesian officials and in return obtained approximately $7.8 million in contract payments. Between 2011 and 2016, Lyon paid another $240,000 to Hawaiian officials to obtain a $2.5 million contract. He falsely classified the bribes, which were in the form of vehicles, gifts, and entertainment, as business expenses.
As an official in Micronesia’s Department of Transportation, Halbert administered the aviation programs and managed the airports. According to the complaint, between 2006 and 2016, he accepted bribes in exchange for helping to secure the $7.8 million in contracts for Lyon’s company. The two men agreed that the bribes would be transported from the United States to Micronesia.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.