Any news on the $1.2 million Caltrans fraud case, USA v. Poursartip et al?
– Matthew, Sacramento
A federal grand jury in Sacramento indicted three people in July 2010, charging them with defrauding the California Department of Transportation.
Clint Gregory of Sacramento, and Siavash “Mike” Poursartip and Sara Shirazi, both of Walnut Creek, were accused of bribery, bid rigging and fraud in connection with contracts issued by Caltrans. The department is alleged to have incurred a loss of more than $1.2 million as a result of the fraud.
Gregory pleaded guilty in August 2010 and, as part of a plea agreement, agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of the other two defendants.
Poursartip and Shirazi pleaded not guilty and are still awaiting trial. According to federal court online records, the trial has been delayed in part due to Shirazi’s health. She suffered complications following brain surgery. Court records indicate a trial date may be set for November.
Gregory is still awaiting sentencing. A status hearing regarding his sentencing had been scheduled for March 18, but was continued to July 29, according to online court records.
According to the 2010 indictment, Gregory was a senior transportation engineer supervisor for Caltrans District 10 in Stockton.
Poursartip and Shirazi operated a company known as Infotek Associates, a California corporation. Poursartip and Shirazi allegedly offered, and Gregory accepted, bribes of money, a Persian rug, a cell phone and other gifts in exchange for being awarded “Minor B” contracts by Caltrans. The transportation department uses such contracts for projects valued at less than $131,000.
Gregory was accused of depositing the bribe payments in bank accounts held in the names of business entities he controlled.
The indictment also alleged that the defendants circumvented Caltrans’ competitive bidding process, which requires bids from at least two certified vendors before awarding Minor B contracts.