Forest Service Employee, Shop Operator Indicted for Fraud
March 4, 2021—A grand jury indicted Francisco Isaias, a U.S. Forest Service employee, this week on suspicion of receiving more than $360,000 in kickbacks and bribes from a collision repair shop.
The Sun reports that prosecutors accused Isaias of hiring JP's Collision and Auto Body Center, a Bloomington, Calif., business, to work on Forest Service vehicles without having to bid against competitors. The collision repair shop performed nearly $1 million worth of maintenance on Forest Service vehicles, billing the federal government $898,528 from June 2014 to November 2016.
Isaias had been suspended from his job with the Forest Service since 2007, according to The Sun.
Isaias, who surrendered to authorities and pleaded not guilty this week, was accused of seven counts of wire fraud and 12 counts of conflict of interest, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office and as reported by The Sun.
Joaquin Perez, who operates JP's Collision, has been charged with seven counts of wire fraud, which he pleaded not guilty to last month. Both of men's trials are scheduled for April.