PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram
Search the site

 

Download our free e-book! Overcoating bridges and other structures.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Feds Arrest ‘Godfather’ of Contracts

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Comment | More

A Department of Defense employee and self-proclaimed “Godfather” of construction contracts at California's Camp Pendleton has been charged with extorting bribes for contracts, federal prosecutors announced.

Natividad "Nate" Lara Cervantes, 64, of San Diego, was arrested Thursday (March 28) on federal bribery charges, Daphne Hearn, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI San Diego Field Office, announced Monday (April 1).

Calling himself the "Godfather at Camp Pendleton," Cervantes is accused of using his position as supervisor of Camp Pendleton's Construction and Service Contracts Inspection Branch to extort bribes from businesses seeking to do business at the Marine base.

Natividad Cervantes
LinkedIn

Natividad "Nate" Cervantes is accused of extorting bribes for contracts at Camp Pendleton in California.

Bugged and Busted

Cervantes was arrested after accepting $10,000 cash from an FBI cooperating witness at a business in San Diego. The money was a partial payment of a $40,000 bribe, officials said.

Earlier in the week, on March 26, the witness met with Cervantes and agreed to pay him $40,000 in cash in exchange for help obtaining a $4 million flooring contract that was to be awarded at the base in 45 days.

The first payment of $20,000 was to be made to Cervantes on March 28, with the remaining $20,000 to be paid when the contract was awarded, the complaint said.

When the witness met with Cervantes to make his first payment, federal agents monitored the meeting and recorded the conversation with a buttonhole recording device worn by the witness.

During the meeting, the two discussed the payment schedule and the source of funds for the bribe payments, among other things, according to the FBI.

After receiving the envelope containing $10,000, Cervantes was arrested by federal agents and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.

Camp Pendleton
KSWT.com

Federal prosecutors arrested Cervantes after a cooperating witness gave him an envelope with $10,000 in cash as a partial payment for a bribe to receive a $4 million flooring contract at Camp Pendleton, officials said.

Cervantes appeared Monday before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. As of noon PT on Tuesday (April 2), the Metropolitan Correctional Center's inmate locator showed that he had not yet been released.

The cooperating witness, who was not identified, is under investigation for allegedly engaging in kickback schemes, making false statements on federal forms, and other crimes, the San Diego Union Tribune reported. According to the complaint, the witness cooperated with the investigation to receive more lenient treatment, the newspaper stated.

Years of Bribes

The complaint alleges that Cervantes has been using his position to extort bribes since September 2008. He allegedly received thousands of dollars in cash and remodeling work on his downtown San Diego condominium.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California, San Diego, is leading the prosecution. The investigation was conducted under the FBI's public corruption investigative program.

Investigating agencies in this matter are: Naval Criminal Investigative Services; Internal Revenue Service; Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service; General Services Administration—Office of Inspector General; Small Business Administration—Office of Inspector General; and the FBI.

   

Tagged categories: Criminal acts; Department of Defense (DOD); Enforcement; Government contracts

Comment from Mike McCloud, (4/3/2013, 7:43 AM)

California has a lot of suspicious activity going on.


Comment from Mark Puckett, (4/3/2013, 11:41 AM)

1 down 6 million to go


Comment from Jack Henley, (4/4/2013, 8:50 AM)

When I was much younger, the hand shake of a business man ment something, today, it means after the shake, go wash your hands. I would like to see the man do some hard time, no community service and time off for good deeds. J. Henley


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
International Bridge Conference
 
2017 International Bridge Conference
 
June 4-8, 2017, National Harbor, Maryland
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Enduroguard -
The Tough Cable
for a Tough Industry.
 
Reduce maintenance costs and down time, increase job site safety with Enduroguard Cable. Available exclusively from SAFE Systems. UL listed, flexible, abrasion resistant and cut resistant.
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
US Minerals
 
Hit Harder. Clean Faster.
 
Black Diamond abrasive products are the toughest, most effective blasting media and supply the superior power you need to get any job done.
 

 
HoldTight Solutions Inc.
 
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS
 
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com
 

 
Carboline Company
 
Fireproofing Solutions
 
Pyroclad® X1 Thermo-Lag® Pyrocrete® – protecting against hydrocarbon and jet fires, explosions, and cryogenic spills.
 

 
Atlantic Design, Inc.
 
BUILDING INNOVATION, NOT IMITATION
 
The smallest version of our Blast Vacuum Recyclers, this ADI 2300CFM 2-Pot is a cleverly designed power package for those smaller jobs. 866.Call.ADI
 

 
Tnemec Company, Inc.
 
Online Coating Courses from Tnemec
 
For decades, Tnemec has offered its expertise to clients presenting face-to-face coatings courses. Now, these presentations are available to anyone for CEUs at Tnemec University.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us