March 15, 2019
NHTSA Suspends Former Employee at Virgin Islands Office of Highway Safety
On March 15, 2019, Kareem Christian entered into a civil settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Virgin Islands, in which Christian agreed to pay $123,917 to NHTSA. A few weeks earlier, on February 12, NHTSA suspended and proposed debarment for Christian and his company, Umbrella I.T., from participating in Federal nonprocurement and procurement transactions.
The agreement settled allegations that between 2008 and 2012 Christian misdirected NHTSA grant funds and equipment for personal gain. Specifically, on at least three occasions, he allegedly falsely certified that the Virgin Island Police Department (VIPD) received computer equipment purchased with NHTSA grant funds. However, Christian allegedly sold the items to a third party. At the time, he was the traffic records coordinator for the Virgin Islands Office of Highway Safety, as well as the owner of Umbrella I.T., a private tech company. At the Office of Highway Safety, Christian was responsible for requesting and receiving Federal funds to purchase VIPD equipment under sections 406 and 408 of the NHTSA grant program.
The settlement agreement is a compromise of disputed claims and is neither an admission of liability by Christian nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with VIPD’s assistance.
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time, and the System for Award Management should be consulted to find out whether a company is currently excluded.