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Granite Bay woman pleads guilty to rigging bids for California state software contracts

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A Granite Bay woman pleaded guilty Thursday to rigging bids on software contracts from the state of California in a conspiracy involving two other defendants.

Loraine Dixon, 61, of Granite Bay conspired with John Brewer, 50, of San Francisco, and Brent Vinch, 49, of New York — who both pleaded guilty more than a year ago — to rig government IT bids, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

Dixon was a regional representative of a larger software company that worked with several California agencies, while Brewer and Vinch were owners and operators of a competing tech company, Expert Network Consultants, according to the release.

Between 2008 and 2012, the three of them worked together to ensure ENC won state contracts, as Brewer solicited bids from companies that never intended to complete contract work and Vinch submitted non-competitive bids, according to the release.

The two had others submit exorbitant bids, only to then submit their own bids, winning their company contracts from four different California departments, according to previous reporting by The Sacramento Bee.

The scheme won them $3 million in 40 illicit state contracts, according to previous reporting by The Bee.

Dixon, supplied with wine and money from the duo, directed them toward contracts, advised them on how to scam the bidding process and eventually became an ENC employee in 2012, according to the release.

Dixon is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 31, and Vinch is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9, 2020. They both face up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Brewer was sentenced to 15 months in prison on April 26, 2018.

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.
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