A former United States Postal Service manager pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to committing wire fraud and conspiring to violate federal conflict of interest laws, attorneys said.
Union City man Balvinder Singh Chadha, 45, pleaded guilty to charges that he was the investor and head of Golden Pacific Logistics, or GPL, a truck leasing company which he used to procure contracts from USPS, de-frauding the government out of more than $4.4 million, according to prosecutors.
His wife and co-defendant, Jaspinder Kaur Chadha, 39, pleaded guilty March 28 to conspiring with her husband in the scheme.
In 2005, while he was head of the company that he secretly established, Chadha encouraged his department to award contracts to GPL.
During the next four years, his company billed USPS for a range of expenses that were never incurred, including trucks, mileage and servicing and maintenance costs that were never authorized.
GPL received a total of $6.4 million from USPS, with at least $4.4 million from fraudulent billing, attorneys said.
Both defendants have admitted in court to conspiring to defy the federal government's conflict of interest statute, which bars Chadha and all USPS employees from knowingly taking part in a contract from which he and his wife stood to gain financially.
The U.S. Attorney charged the couple for these crimes on March 16.
"As federal agencies, we have a responsibility to combat fraud and ensure taxpayers' dollars are not being misspent," said Clark Settles, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in San Francisco, in a statement. "These guilty pleas should send a message about the serious consequences facing those who seek to exploit their position for personal gain at the expense of the American people."
The Chadhas are set to be sentenced in Oakland on July 11.