Texas Woman Sentenced for Accepting Bribe While Serving as an Official in American Samoa

A Texas woman was sentenced in federal court in San Francisco today to one year and 10 months in prison for committing fraud and bribery while she served as a U.S. government official in American Samoa.

Evelyn Langford, 49, of Copperas Cove, Texas, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar to pay the government restitution of $260,000, the amount she admitted taking from a contractor who was seeking part of a government grant related to a 2009 tsunami.

Langford pleaded guilty before Tigar in March to one count of wire fraud and one count of bribery.

Between 2009 and 2012, Langford was director of human resources for the government of American Samoa, a U.S. territory in the South Pacific Ocean.

After a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the region, Langford was assigned by the territory’s governor to oversee part of a $24.8 million National Emergency Grant provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The grant was administered through the department’s regional office in San Francisco.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said that in pleading guilty, Langford admitted she requested and received $260,000 in 2012 from a representative of a contractor seeking grant money for a job training program. Haag said Langford admitted that in exchange, she provided favorable official action, including a meeting with the governor of the territory.

The contractor was the Native Hawaiian Holding Co. Inc. and the representative was Quin Rudin.

Rudin has separately been charged with a scheme to defraud Cisco Systems, Inc. in connection with the lease of Cisco equipment. That case is pending in Tigar’s court in San Francisco.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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