Contractor sentenced for kickbacks, tax evasion

A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned a two-count indictment April 26, 2017, charging Shawna Marie Chapman, 30, with attempt to commit murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. (U.S. Dept. of Justice graphic)

The Department of Justice announced the Air Force Office of Special Investigations teamed with three fellow federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation of federal government contractor Victor Villalobos, who was sentenced to prison Feb. 17 for accepting kickbacks and tax evasion. (Dept. of Justice graphic)

WASHINGTON -- An Enterprise, Ala., resident was sentenced Feb. 17, in the Southern District of Florida, to 48 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for accepting unlawful kickbacks and tax evasion, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department's Tax Division.

According to court documents and statements made in open court, Victor Villalobos, 47, worked for a federal prime contractor at Fort Rucker, Ala. In 2009, Villalobos approached Maxim Silinsky, a Florida-based subcontractor for this company, and solicited illegal kickbacks on the federal subcontracts that Silinsky held in connection with the federal prime contractor.  Villalobos agreed that in exchange for kickback payments he would refrain from conduct that would unfavorably affect Silinsky's business relationship with the federal prime contractor and help ensure that he obtained additional business.

Ciraolo commended special agents of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, IRS Criminal Investigation, the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division, who investigated this case and Trial Attorneys Charles M. Edgar Jr. and Jason H. Poole of the Tax Division, who prosecuted this case. Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo also thanked the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Florida for their substantial assistance.

As part of his plea, Villalobos admitted that from June 2009 to December 2014, he received approximately 57 separate wire transfers totaling more than $1.9 million in kickback payments from various foreign and domestic bank accounts controlled by Silinsky. At two separate meetings in 2015, Villalobos accepted envelopes from Silinsky containing cash kickbacks totaling $60,000. Between June 2009 and February 2015, Villalobos attempted to conceal his receipt of the kickbacks by forming nominee entities and opening nominee bank accounts.  Villalobos also admitted he evaded paying income taxes on the kickback payments by causing false federal income tax returns to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In addition to his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley ordered Villalobos to pay $542,562 in restitution to the IRS. As part of his plea agreement, Villalobos also agreed to be permanently barred from federal government contracting.

Silinsky pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return in November 2015, and cooperated in the investigation and prosecution of Villalobos. Silinsky was sentenced to one year and one day in prison on Feb. 2. Silinsky also cooperated in the investigation and prosecution of Trevor Smith, a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant who pleaded guilty in October 2015, to unlawfully disclosing confidential procurement information and filing a false tax return. On Jan. 28, Smith was sentenced to 18 months in prison.