Indiana Man Pleads Guilty to Charges Relating to a Kickback Scheme at the John Cochran VA Center
May 31, 2017 / Source: FDICIG
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2017
St. Louis, MO – Tony Pedretti, 43, of Whiting, Indiana, admitted to his role in a kickback scheme that ran for three years while he supervised the HVAC shop and the John Cochran Veterans Administration Medical Center in St. Louis from 2012 to 2015. Pedretti appeared before Judge Audrey G. Fleissig in St. Louis. Judge Fleissig accepted his plea and set his sentencing for September 7, 2017.
According to the plea agreement, Pedretti conspired with Scott Geary, David Graham and others to collect kickbacks for work done at the HVAC shop. Pedretti was authorized to pay up to $2500 to outside contractors without prior approval and most of the jobs involved in the scheme were near that limit. It was a part of the parties’ agreement that, for each job, Pedretti would receive a cash kickback. In all, Pedretti admitted that more than $270,000 in work was let by him in furtherance of the kickback scheme.
Scott Geary has already pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and awaits sentencing. Graham is a co-defendant with Pedretti and is awaiting trial of his case. Pedretti faces up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 for his conspiracy conviction.
This case was investigated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of the Inspector General and the FDIC – Office of the Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.