DC business owner sentenced to prison for bribing government employee

WASHINGTON — The owner of a tutoring company for public school students was sentenced to 18 months in prison Monday after he bribed a government employee.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Vashawn Strader, 40, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in July 2017.

Strader owned a company that provided tutoring services to public school students in D.C. and other school systems.

According to a news release from the U.S. attorney, Strader began bribing 48-year-old Shauntell Harley, an employee of the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), in 2012.

Harley worked as a management analyst for OSSE from 2009 to 2014, where her responsibilities included issuing requests for services and reviewing invoices from the companies that provided the services.

Together, Harley and Strader cost the government a combined $308,311 in fraudulent invoices for early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and development delays, as well as professional development training. These services were invoiced in 2012 and 2013, but never actually performed.

Harley was sentenced to 56 months in prison in July 2018 after she pled guilty to two different schemes, including the one with Strader and another involving a third, unnamed person. She has to pay $488,311 in restitution to OSSE and an additional $100,000 in a forfeiture money judgment.

After his prison term, Strader will be on supervised release for three years, during which he must complete 100 hours of community service. He owes $308,311 in restitution to OSSE and $100,000 in a forfeiture money judgment.

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