Executive admits to bribe scheme

December 01, 2007|By Matthew Dolan | Matthew Dolan,Sun reporter

A former private security company executive pleaded guilty yesterday to lying to federal officials who were investigating a bribery scheme designed to illegally secure $130 million in government contracts.

Richard S. Hudec, 44, of Naples, Fla., admitted in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt that he concealed relevant information from federal contracting officials about his criminal background, which includes four felony convictions.

In October, the former owner of the company, Michael B. Holiday, 50, of Silver Spring, pleaded guilty to bribery and tax evasion in connection with rigging three federal government contracts awarded to his Montgomery County company for private security guards at federal buildings in California and Maryland.

According to court papers filed in the case, Holiday, a former Montgomery police officer, gave a government contracting official $100,000 in cash and paid for her $7,000 Caribbean cruise. In exchange, prosecutors said, the General Services Administration employee granted favorable treatment in the bidding process to Holiday's company.

Among the agencies that awarded contracts to Holiday International Security was the Social Security Administration, which continues to use guards from the renamed company at its Woodlawn headquarters and several other buildings in the Baltimore region, federal officials said.

According to court papers filed in the guilty plea, Hudec's wife purchased Holiday International Security in May 2003 and changed the name to USProtect Corporation.

From 2001 through February 2005, Hudec assisted in preparing and submitting the company's proposals to provide security to federal agencies. As of October 2001, Hudec had been convicted of fraud in four separate federal criminal prosecutions and had numerous civil judgments for fraud and false statements entered against him.

In proposals submitted in 2002 and 2004 to provide physical security to the facilities in Baltimore, Hudec allowed the company to falsely certify that no principal of the company had a civil judgment for fraud or false statements rendered against him within the three years preceding the company's proposal. This resulted in the Social Security Administration awarding the company contracts worth more than $50 million.

The company eventually obtained contracts worth more than $150 million.

Hudec could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison for concealing material information. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 25.

matthew.dolan@baltsun.com

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