Former Department of Public Works Commissioner Ann Abramson and St. Croix contractor Berthill Thomas were charged by a federal grand jury with crimes including conspiracy, bribery, and making false claims to the United States and federal agents, U.S. attorney James A. Hurd said Thursday in a press release.
The indictment charges that Thomas paid Abramson, then Public Works commissioner, September to October 1995 to give him a contract to repair the Department of Finances hurricane-damaged roof.
The defendants are charges in 2 separate counts with giving and receiving
of a bribe in the amount of $6,500., according to Hurd.
Thomas was charged previously with 3 counts of making false statements to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He was charged with submitted inflated invoices for work he performed on the Finance Department roof.
Abramson has been charged with submitting Thomas false invoices. They are both charged
with three counts of making false claims in connection with the submission of those invoices.
If convicted, Abramson and Thomas face up to 10 years in prison for each count of bribery, five years in prison for each count of conspiracy and false claims and false statements, and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The indictments follow a probe by FEMA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.