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FAA Contractor Sentenced to 48 Months For Bribing FAA Official
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 20:27

A Federal Aviation Administration contractor, who also is a former employee of the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center in AtlanticCounty, was sentenced today to 48 months in federal prison for paying bribes to another former FAA employee, federal law enforcement officials announced.

U.S. District Chief Judge Garrett E. Brown, Jr., ordered Maria Lianidis, 45, of Linwood, to pay a fine of $75,000 and to serve threeyears of supervised release.


Brown continued the defendant's release on a $200,000 bond pending hersurrender to officials with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on a date to be determined by prison authorities.

On Feb. 6, 2008, Lianidis, who was president of Digital ManagementSystems, Inc. (DMS), a computer engineering company based in Absecon, pleaded guilty before Brown to three counts of bribery. At her plea hearing, Lianidis admitted that she paid cash bribes to Darrell Woods, 50, of Winslow Township, who was at the time an FAAprogram manager.

Woods'responsibilities included participating in the creation of FAAcontract solicitations and overseeing the performance of DMS on government contracts that the company obtained with Woods' assistance, said Acting United States Attorney Ralph J.Marra, Jr.

In making the corrupt payments, Lianidis admitted that she sought to influence Woods in the performance of his official duties as an FAA employee. Lianidis admitted that on three separate instances in early 2003, she gave Woods a total of approximately $23,000 in cash, as described inan Indictment that was returned against her in August 2007, Marra said.

Lianidis did not dispute that the amount of money given to Woods was substantially greater than $23,000. Woods pleaded guilty on June 13, 2007, to one count of wire fraud andone count of money laundering related to the bribery and contract-steering scheme, admitting that he had received in excess of $150,000 from Lianidis.

Woods is free on a $250,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for January 5, 2009.

In determining the actual sentence, Brown consulted the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges that take into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, including all conduct relevant to the commission of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, if any, and other factors. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

Marra credited Special Agents of the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent In Charge Ned Schwartz in New York, and the IRS Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Special Agent in ChargeWilliam P. Offord, with the investigation thatresulted in the guilty pleas of Lianidis and Wooffds.

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