Ports of entry official sentenced to prison for bribery
SAN DIEGO – A former government official who oversaw operations and maintenance at the Otay Mesa, San Ysidro and Tecate ports of entry was sentenced Friday to 16 months in federal prison for carrying out a nearly decade-long conspiracy to solicit bribes and steal federal property.
Timothy Francis Cashman, 54, admitted in April that he used his position as a building manager for the General Services Administration for his personal enrichment by demanding kickbacks and services in exchange for favorable treatment in awarding GSA contracts.
In sentencing Cashman in a San Diego courtroom, Judge Gonzalo Curiel noted that the defendant was a religious man who had performed many good deeds and selfless acts. Nonetheless, Curiel said, it was vital that Cashman’s punishment reflect the fact that “quid pro quo is not the status quo” in government service.
In addition to handing down the custody sentence, the judge also ordered Cashman to serve three years of post-incarceration supervised release and pay about $50,000 in restitution.
According to prosecutors, Cashman used his position with the GSA to create schemes for self-benefit instead of working to fulfill the agency’s core mission of delivering maximum value in real estate, equipment acquisition and technology services to government agencies and U.S. taxpayers.
Under one such illicit arrangement, Cashman directed contractor Hugo Alonso Inc. to give him $10,000 in cash and perform thousands of dollars worth of free construction services, including painting, re-roofing and window replacement, on the defendant’s Lakeside home, according to court documents.
Cashman also admitted that he had HAI pay another government contractor $120,000 in order to land a construction job at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, and conceded that he accepted six checks totaling $42,000 from the second firm and deposited the funds into his own bank account.
Cashman concealed all income received from HAI when submitting his federal income-tax returns, court documents state.
In addition, Cashman stole thousands of dollars worth of government building materials, including copper cable, stainless-steel panels and heavy brass letters spelling out “United States Border Inspection Station”, by getting contractors and others to pack them up and transport them away from GSA facilities, according to the plea agreement.
HAI, and its principal, Hugo Alonso, conceded to breaking the law in connection with Cashman’s schemes and were previously sentenced.
In all, 11 people were arrested and pleaded guilty in related corruption investigations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.