University of Guam Professor Arrested for Conspiring a Bid Rigging Scheme
News Release from FBI, August 7, 2019
TAMUNING—On August 6, 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), along with law enforcement partners from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested Thomas E. Marler on federal charges of conspiring a bid rigging scheme to enrich himself and co-conspirator Jayanika Lawrence from federally funded grants administrated by the University of Guam.
A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment, charging conspiracy to restrain trade, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.
“This investigation targeted a bid-rigging and fraud scheme concerning federally funded grants and projects at the University of Guam,” said FBI Honolulu Special Agent in Charge Eli S. Miranda, “The FBI will continue to pursue fraud and corruption investigations and hold accountable all those who betray the public’s trust and confidence.”
Marler was arrested at the A.B. Won Pat Guam International Airport. Lawrence, who resides in the state of Oregon, is scheduled to appear before the U.S. District Court of Guam.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell said, “These charges reflect the IRS’s commitment to investigating significant financial crimes—especially when those crimes directly target taxpayer dollars intended to fund critical work being done with federally funded research grants. We will not waiver in our dedication to root out individuals who seek to profit at the expense of the American taxpayers.”
An indictment is merely a charge and the guilt of the defendant must be proven in the court of law.
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Charged professor, Thomas Marler, still employed by UOG
GPDN Aug 8, 2019: … The University of Guam has continued to employ Thomas Marler as a faculty member despite alerting federal authorities about “procurement issues with certain grants” in 2015.
Marler is accused in federal court of submitting fake bids for projects to benefit his business by falsely representing that he had no conflict with Isla Paraiso or Sansar Environmental Consulting. The indictment states Marler and Jayanika Lawrence rigged bids for federally funded projects at UOG that went to them.
Marler had a financial interest in Isla Paraiso, while Lawrence did business as Sansar Environmental, the indictment states.
The alleged conspiracy, which happened between December 2013 and April 2015, involved dozens of projects, totaling $191,317, according to a list provided by prosecutors.
As part of the scheme, prosecutors alleged Marler, not Lawrence, prepared and submitted bid proposals on behalf of Lawrence's company, which Marler didn't disclose, the indictment states….
He also was awarded projects by submitting false bid proposals for other vendors, unbeknownst to the other vendors, according to the indictment….
UOG staffing patterns show that Marler remained on payroll from fiscal years 2014 through 2019. The staffing pattern showed in fiscal year 2014, Marler was earning a $116,975 salary, not including benefits.
His salary went up to $127,846 in the third-quarter fiscal year 2016, the staffing pattern shows….
read … Charged professor, Thomas Marler, still employed by UOG