A federal judge has reportedly sentenced a Boise, Idaho, husband and wife for defrauding the state environmental agency by misleading it to win a contract to retrofit Idaho school buses with emissions-reduction equipment. United States v. Garcia, No. 10-6814 (D. Idaho sentencing 6/20/11). Jorge Garcia, a former agency program manager, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, while Karen Damberg Garcia was sentenced to five months of probation and 10 months of home detention. The pair pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the state agency on October 13, 2010; they will also be ordered to pay restitution to the state agency in an amount to be determined by the court.
Court documents indicate that the couple created a company that submitted the winning bid on a $332,000 contract to install diesel-reduction devices on hundreds of school buses throughout the state. Defendants listed several bus mechanics, who were not employed by the company, as employees and then retained a non-mechanic to install the devices, resulting in faulty work that damaged hundreds of buses. See DOJ Press Release, and BNA Daily Environment Report, June 20, 2011.