• R.D. Lieberman,Consultant

FEMA Deputy Regional Administrator and Deputy Chief of Staff Indicted

On September 10, 2019, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) Deputy Regional Administrator and a FEMA Deputy Chief of Staff were indicted along with the former president of Cobra Acquisitions, LLC. The indictment by a federal grand jury in the district of Puerto Rico includes 15 counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services wire fraud, disaster fraud, Travel Act violations, making false statements, wire fraud and conflict of interest, all in connection with disaster recovery work in attempting to restore the power grid in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.


The indictment is anchored on the conspiracy to commit bribery based on soliciting and giving things of value to the FEMA Regional administer to influence his official acts (i.e. to award restoration work to contractor Cobra Acquisitions). To further the conspiracy, defendants used private email accounts, private cell phones, Apple iMessages and SMS texts rather than FEMA issued email or cell phones.


The U.S. Attorney for Puerto Rico stated that “These defendants were supposed to come to Puerto Rico to help during the recovery after the devastation suffered from Hurricane Maria. Instead they decided to take advantage of the precarious condition of our electric power grid and engaged in a bribery and honest services wire fraud scheme in order to enrich themselves illegally. All government officials are entrusted with performing their duties honestly and ethically.”


If found guilty the defendants face possible sentences of up to 5 years for conspiracy, travel action violations, conflict of interest and false statements, and up to 30 years for honest services wire fraud and disaster fraud.


For other helpful suggestions on government contracting, visit:

Richard D. Lieberman’s FAR Consulting & Training at https://www.richarddlieberman.com/, and Mistakes in Government Contracting at https://richarddlieberman.wixsite.com/mistakes

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The website of Richard Donald Lieberman, a government contracts consultant and retired attorney who is the author of both "The 100 Worst Mistakes in Government Contracting" (with Jason Morgan) and "The 100 Worst Government Mistakes in Government Contracting." Richard Lieberman concentrates on Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) consulting and training, including  commercial item contracting (FAR Part 12), compliance with proposal requirements (FAR Part 15 negotiated procurement), sealed bidding (FAR Part 14), compliance with solicitation requirements, contract administration (FAR Part 42), contract modifications and changes (FAR Part 43), subcontracting and flowdown requirements (FAR Part 44), government property (FAR Part 45), quality assurance (FAR Part 46), obtaining invoiced payments owed to contractors,  and other compliance with the FAR. Mr.Lieberman is also involved in numerous community service activities.  See LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-d-lieberman-3a25257a/.This website and blog are for educational and information purposes only.  Nothing posted on this website constitutes legal advice, which can only be obtained from a qualified attorney. Website Owner/Consultant does not engage in the practice of law and will not provide legal advice or legal services based on competence and standing in the law. Legal filings and other aspects of a legal practice must be performed by an appropriate attorney. Using this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Although the author strives to present accurate information, the information provided on this site is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date.  The views expressed on this blog are solely those of the author. FAR Consulting & Training, Bethesda, Maryland, Tel. 202-520-5780, rliebermanconsultant@gmail.com

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