A woman who lived part-time in Dublin, Calif., has been arrested in Prague on charges of conspiring to bribe a U.S. Air Force contracting administrator, federal prosecutors announced. U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner of Sacramento said that Lida Amin, 39, faces charges in federal court in Sacramento and was arrested by Czech authorities in Prague on Wednesday.
The U.S. Justice Department is seeking her extradition, he said. Amin and her brother, Nabil Amin, are accused in a grand jury indictment of conspiring to bribe an unnamed official in exchange for military contracts for items such as medical clothing and linens. The indictment was issued under seal on Aug. 8 and unsealed following the arrest Wednesday. Wagner said Lida Amin lived part-time in Dublin and part-time in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The indictment alleges the brother and sister schemed in 2012 to obtain “as many contracts as possible” by offering the administrator valuable items, such as Rolex watches, as bribes. They allegedly met with the official in Budapest in September 2012 to discuss the plot. The indictment alleges that as part of the scheme, a company Lida Amin set up won a $249,939 contract in December for medical clothing and linen. The materials were shipped from India to Travis Air Force Base in July. The administrator had told her in a coded e-mail message that the maximum price for the contract was $250,000, the indictment says.
The indictment alleges that in two e-mails in late July, Lida Amin and the administrator discussed meeting in Prague “to settle their debts and discuss the next set of contracts.” The administrator is not charged in the indictment. Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said she could not comment on that person’s status because the investigation is ongoing.
The administrator was previously based in Afghanistan and while there allegedly received an $18,000 bribe from a member of the Amin family in 2008, according to the indictment. Horwood said prosecutors believe Nabil Amin is overseas and are seeking to locate and apprehend him. Both siblings are charged with conspiring to bribe a public official. Lida Amin is additionally charged with three counts of using interstate commerce facilities — specifically, transportation on Interstate 80 and e-mail — to aid the alleged bribery conspiracy.
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