Former Qwest Communications Employee Concealed Kickbacks Received From Fiberco, Inc., in Awarding Installation Contracts
Los Angeles, CA – LAWFUEL – An Orange County man was sentenced yesterday to twelve months and one day in federal prison for tax evasion and mail fraud related to a scheme in which he received kickbacks from a company he hired to install fiber optic cable for Qwest Communications.
Jeffrie Lane Bryan was ordered to spend twelve months and one day in federal prison by United States District Court Judge Edward Rafeedie in Los Angeles. In addition to the prison term, Judge Rafeedie ordered Bryan to be placed on supervised release, after serving his prison sentence, for a term of 24 months. In July 2006, Bryan pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and to one count of tax evasion.
From 1999 to 2001, Bryan was a contract manager for Qwest Communications in the company’s Atascadero, California office. As contract manager, Bryan was responsible for managing Qwest’s construction activities in the state. One of the companies Bryan selected to install fiber optic cable for Qwest was Fiberco, Inc., headquartered in Corona, California. Beginning in 1999 and continuing through December 2000, Bryan selected Fiberco, Inc. to do construction jobs for Qwest. Prior and subsequent to the awarding of contracts to Fiberco, Inc., Bryan solicited money form the company’s owner, David Zuniga, in exchange for giving the contracts to his company. During the same period, Bryan solicited payments totaling of $651,690 from Zuniga. Further, both Bryan and Zuniga concealed the kickback payments from Bryan’s employer, Qwest Communications.
In an effort to avoid paying federal income tax on the monies he received as kickbacks from Fiberco, Inc., Bryan asked Zuniga to provide him with a an IRS Form 1099 that substantially understated the payments he received form Fiberco, Inc. For tax years 1999 and 2000, Bryan underreported his income by approximately $55,000 and $370,377, respectively.
In position papers filed with the court regarding his sentencing, Bryan sets forth the fact that he lost his job with Qwest Communications as a result of the offense. Further, Bryan details that, in 2002, he sold the house that he built in Creston, California, and the proceeds from the sale of the house have been seized and will undergo forfeiture proceedings. The forfeiture proceedings are currently pending.
Bryan was ordered by Judge Rafeedie to report to the Bureau of Prisons on March 5, 2007, to begin serving his sentence.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.