BOSTON – A former United States Postal Service manager pleaded guilty today in federal court in Springfield to charges of bribery, witness tampering and false statements to federal officials.
Kenneth LaFlamme, 54, of Fort Myers, Fla., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count each of bribery, witness tampering, and false statements to federal officials. U.S. District Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled LaFlamme’s sentencing for Sept. 5, 2019.
“If committing the underlying offense of bribery wasn’t bad enough, the defendant’s attempt to interfere with a witness in order to influence grand jury testimony in his favor is particularly egregious,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling. “We will prosecute people who intentionally interfere with the criminal justice system.”
“We are gratified to have contributed to this investigation and applaud the exceptional work by the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Special Agent in Charge Scott Pierce of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. “Along with our law enforcement partners, the Postal Service OIG will continue to aggressively investigate those who would engage in fraudulent activities against the Postal Service.”
“Today, Mr. LaFlamme finally accepted responsibility for taking thousands of dollars in bribes from two towing contractors, in exchange for sending business their way,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division. “Not only did he embrace the practice of ‘pay to play,’ but he also lied about it. Anyone who takes advantage of their position for personal gain, and in furtherance of criminal misconduct, will be held accountable.”
Between 2015 and 2018, LaFlamme served as the Manager of the USPS’ Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Springfield. In this capacity, for approximately two years, LaFlamme solicited and received weekly bribes from two towing contractors in exchange for directing valuable business to their companies. After federal investigators served subpoenas on the contractors in April 2018, LaFlamme attempted to influence the grand jury testimony of one of the contractors. When federal investigators later interviewed LaFlamme, he lied about his bribery and witness tampering.
The bribery charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 15 years in prison, the charge of witness tampering provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison and the charge of making false statements provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison. Sentences are imposed by a federal district judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Scott Pierce, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Contract Fraud Investigations Division; and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.