Feds: CT post office official admits ‘multifaceted’ $1 million-plus scheme

A U.S. Postal Service facilities director in Connecticut has admitted he took bribes, committed fraud and falsified tax returns in a scheme that involved inflating construction costs and setting up a company to receive contracts.

Federal officials said the company received contracts for 150 projects, defrauding the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) of almost $1 million, in just one of the criminal acts.

Robert Giulietti, 57, of Cheshire, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty in Bridgeport federal court on Feb. 7 to one count of bribery of a public official, one count of wire fraud, and one count of filing a false tax return.

Giulietti is to be sentenced in May and faces up to 38 years, plus restitution.

‘A corrupt federal employee’

“This defendant was a corrupt federal employee who perpetrated a multifaceted and brazen scheme that defrauded the postal service of nearly a million dollars,” said Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut.

“I commend the USPS Office of Inspector General, the Connecticut FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation for their excellent work in this investigation, which included the seizure of significant assets of approximately $740,000 in cash and a house in Cheshire,” Daly said.

Took bribes from contractors

According to court documents and statements made in court, Giulietti was facilities project manager at the USPS Northeast Facilities Office in Windsor, which is near Hartford.

Giulietti’s duties included recommending and selecting facilities improvement contractors, reviewing and approving bids received from those contractors for USPS work, certifying the completion of work by contractors and approving payment authorizations.

In pleading guilty, Giulietti admitted that he accepted about $89,000 from two contractors to direct inflated USPS facilities construction contracts to them.

Set up firm to get contract work

Also, in the fall of 2009, Giulietti formed MGC LLC to do business with the USPS on projects on which he worked. MGC was owned in name by Giulietti’s wife, and its business address was his home address in Cheshire.

Operating MGC from his USPS office in Windsor, Giulietti used his position to direct USPS contracts to MGC, to approve MGC’s work, and to authorize payment to MGC for work, federal officials said. After Giulietti directed USPS contracts to MGC, he engaged other contractors to perform the actual work involved with the project.

Charged more than paid contractors

Giulietti generated almost $1 million in profit by having MGC charge USPS more than MGC had to pay the contractors who performed the actual work, according to court documents.

From November 2009 to November 2011, Giulietti directed more than 150 USPS facility projects to MGC, causing a loss to the USPS of approximately $982,065, federal officials said.

Giulietti also filed false federal income tax returns for the 2008 through 2011 tax years by fraudulently deducting payments from MGC to members of his family, and by not reporting the corrupt payments that he received, officials said.

Restitution, penalties of $1.1 million

Giulietti is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2 by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport.

He has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $882,065, and back taxes penalties and interest in the amount of $291,027.

The government is seeking the forfeiture of a residence Giulietti owns on South Pond Circle in Cheshire, and about $740,000 that has been seized from bank accounts.

Acts won’t be tolerated

Tom Frost, special agent for the USPS Office of Inspector General, said the agency “will continue to pursue instances in which contractors and employees attempt to take advantage of the postal service and commit fraud.

“This should serve notice,” Frost continued, “to all contractors and employees that such conduct, as perpetrated by Mr. Giulietti in this case, will be fully investigated.”

Investigation continues

Daly noted that the investigation is ongoing. It is being handled by the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation unit.

Also working on the case is FBI special agent Patricia M. Ferrick and IRS acting special agent John Collins. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric J. Glover.