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Federal employee sentenced to a month in jail for steering a contract

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A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced to a month in jail a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee who steered an earth-moving job at the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai to a company in which he was a partner.

"When I did this I honestly didn’t see that I did anything wrong," said Kevyn Paik.

After he gets out of jail, Paik will be on federal probation for two years, including seven months of electronically monitored home detention.

Had Paik pleaded guilty or not lied when he testified in trial, he probably would have received community service, as he requested, or probation, said U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright.

A jury found Paik and former Fish and Wildlife employee James Alan Duarte guilty of two counts each of wire fraud and mail fraud.

Both men are heavy equipment operators.

Paik was responsible for maintaining the wildlife refuge.

The jury found Paik guilty of steering a $23,500 job in 2006 to a straw contractor. Duarte then performed the work using Paik’s equipment.

The jurors acquitted Paik and Duarte in a similar scheme in 2005 for a $25,000 job.

As a federal employee, Paik was required by law to disclose his interest in a company doing work for the government related to his job.

 

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