GENERIC: courtroom, court

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Henderson man pleaded guilty Wednesday to being involved in a bribery scheme and to committing tax fraud.

According to the U.S. attorney's office, Dustin M. Lewis, 45, of Henderson pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in a bribery scheme involving a federal contract. He also pleaded guilty to committing $1.5 million in tax fraud.

Lewis was a certified public accountant employed by accounting firm L.L. Bradford & Co. in Las Vegas. From February 2015 through about February 2016, Lewis and co-conspirator Frederick J. Leavitt, a public official with the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation — devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the United States, the U.S. attorney's office said in a release.

Leavitt had been assigned to a selection committee for awarding government contracts to perform auditing services for Bureau of Reclamation programs, the release said. As part of the conspiracy, Lewis paid more than $150,000 in bribes to Leavitt. In exchange, Leavitt steered one of the contracts to L.L. Bradford. Lewis and Leavitt agreed to conceal the bribe payment.

In a separate scheme, Lewis and Leavitt conspired to file fraudulent tax forms for 2013 on behalf of six business entities that, collectively, claimed over $11,000,000 in false and fraudulent business deductions, the release said. The U.S. Treasury lost in excess of $1.5 million in tax money as a result of the fraud.

Leavitt previously pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing Feb. 4.

Lewis is scheduled to be sentenced April 30. The maximum penalty for honest services fraud conspiracy is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the release said. The maximum penalty for conspiracy to defraud the United States is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Lewis has also agreed to pay $704,002 in restitution to the Southern California Public Power Authority and $220,770 in restitution to OneWest Bank.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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