Home Portland Press Releases 2009 Former BLM Employee Indicted for Public Corruption
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Former BLM Employee Indicted for Public Corruption

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 02, 2009
  • District of Oregon (503) 727-1000

MEDFORD, OR—Luis Ramirez, 57, of Medford, Oregon was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, personal financial conflict of interest, and making of a false tax return statement.

The wire fraud charges allege that Ramirez served as a Contracting Officer’s Representative for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Medford District Office and devised and carried out a scheme to defraud BLM of money and deprive it of the right to have him conduct his official duties free from corruption, self-enrichment, dishonesty and conflict of interest. It is alleged that Ramirez accomplished the scheme by having private contractors, unbeknownst to BLM, subcontract their work to his son on BLM contracts.  Ramirez was responsible for administering, approving work and submitting invoices to BLM for payment to the contractors. It is alleged that in some instances the approved work was never performed and in other instances the work was redundant and duplicitous. Further, Ramirez had the contractors issue checks to Ramirez’s son either directly or through third parties and the contractors were then reimbursed by payments from BLM under the contracts. It is also alleged that large portions of the checks issued to Ramirez’s son from the contractors were ultimately transferred into Ramirez’s personal bank account.

The conflict of interest charge alleges that Ramirez, as a government contracting officer’s representative for BLM, participated in taking action in relation to the work and payment under the BLM contracts he administered in which he had a financial interest. The false tax return statement alleges that Ramirez made a false declaration under penalties of perjury on an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form claiming that his individual tax return was accurate when it failed to report income of approximately $166,000 he had received. 

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is working with the FBI and IRS in Medford, Oregon in the investigation and prosecution of this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron Chatfield.

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