August 16 2012 – LawFuel.com Law Newswire –
LAS VEGAS – A former U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) assistant property manager at the Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse and the Alan Bible Federal Building was arrested this morning by GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Agents on charges of providing false statements to GSA OIG Special Agents and witness tampering, announced André Birotte Jr., United States Attorney for the Central District of California, and Brian D. Miller, Inspector General of GSA.
Steven M. Underhill, 57, of Las Vegas, is charged in a three count indictment, for providing false fictitious and fraudulent statements to GSA OIG Special Agents and attempting to intimidate, threaten, and corruptly persuade a witness in a federal investigation.
“Attempts to obstruct or tamper with the justice system are serious crimes, particularly when committed by a public servant,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The Department of Justice will work with its partners in law enforcement, like the Office of Inspector General here, to provide oversight for the entire judicial process.”
“These are crimes against the integrity of the judicial process,” said GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller. “Not only do these crimes hurt people, but lying, intimidating, and threatening witnesses harm the very process we use to bring the guilty to justice and exonerate the innocent.”
According to the indictment, it was alleged that Underhill, who was responsible for managing and evaluating federal building maintenance and cleaning contractors, had a personal relationship with a contract employee. After the contract employee ended the relationship, Underhill allegedly retaliated by giving the contract employee’s company unsatisfactory performance ratings for several years, which could affect the company’s ability to obtain new federal contracts. During GSA OIG’s investigation into the matter, special agents interviewed Underhill about his relationship with the contract employee, and he allegedly provided false statements to the special agents and attempted to intimidate, threaten, and corruptly persuade one of the witnesses in the investigation. The indictment includes numerous text messages, which allegedly had the intent to hinder, delay, and prevent the communication of material information to GSA OIG Special Agents.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.
The case will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Miranda Du on October 16, 2012. The maximum penalty for the charge of making a materially false statement is five years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for the obstruction charge is twenty years imprisonment. Therefore, if convicted on all counts, Underhill faces a total maximum penalty of thirty years imprisonment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn C. Newman, Robert E. Dugdale, and Lawrence S. Middleton.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn Newman
Release No. 12-109