March 3, 2024

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Stacks of cash in gym locker: VA employee rigged $4M in contracts and got $100,000 in bribes

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An ex-VA contract officer admitted that he steered contracts for ambulance and wheelchair services to a company in exchange for kickbacks. 

A former Veterans Administration contracting officer has pleaded guilty to steering $4 million in contracts for ambulance and wheelchair services to a company in exchange for kickbacks. Glenn Dartone Johnson, 49, received $100,000 in cash payments from Javor McCoy, owner of Ready 2 Go services, with McCoy placing the money in lockers at an AnyTime Fitness gym in San Antonio, according to court documents.Johnson, who worked for the VA in San Antonio, pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to conspiracy to commit bribery.

According to Johnson’s plea agreement, he was a contracting specialist with supervisory authority. His responsibilities included evaluating bids from contractors for services for the VA and awarding contracts.McCoy, 42, of Midlothian, southwest of Dallas, owned and operated several businesses, including Ready 2 Go Transport Central LLC. Ready 2 Go, or R2G, was registered with the VA as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business and provided ambulance and wheelchair services for veterans, the plea deal said.In the summer of 2021, McCoy agreed to hire a “consultant” identified by Johnson to help McCoy win bids for VA transportation contracts. The consultant was actually Johnson, the plea agreement said.“Although Johnson never explicitly stated to McCoy that he actually was the consultant, both Johnson and McCoy understood that Johnson would be involved in the consultant process,” the plea deal states. “In return for McCoy hiring the consultant, McCoy would receive private consultation regarding bids. Johnson, using his acquisition knowledge gained through his position, helped McCoy improve his chances of winning two competitive awards.”

On Aug. 13 and Aug. 23, 2021, McCoy paid Johnson a total of $100,000, placing the payments in an AnyTime Fitness locker, according to court documents. Johnson later picked up the money. (It was unclear at which of the gym’s San Antonio locations the transfer took place.) On Aug. 23, McCoy submitted bids for the ambulance and wheelchair contracts to the VA office where Johnson worked, according to an indictment charging the pair.Johnson then used his position and knowledge in a variety of ways, including altering the official selection criteria for the bids to match what he had told McCoy; overriding his subordinates’ recommendation to select a bid other than R2G Central’s bids; and directing a subordinate to choose R2G Central as the winner of the wheelchair contract, according to documents.“As a result of Glenn Dartone Johnson’s actions, R2G Central was awarded the two contracts — one for ambulance services worth approximately $1.4 million dollars and one for wheelchair services worth approximately $2.6 million,” the indictment said.

McCoy, who has pleaded not guilty, is scheduled for trial beginning Monday, although his lawyer has requested a delay. A pretrial conference is scheduled for Thursday.Johnson’s defense attorney, Michael McCrum, said his client is “completely cooperating with the authorities.”“Glenn made an error in judgment as to one part of the bid process for which he is taking full responsibility, but it didn’t cost the government any more money that it wasn’t going to spend anyway,” McCrum said.

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