Two former Virgin Islands commissioners, businessman indicted in bribery and kickback scheme
According to the indictment, the scheme involved: Dean Plaskett, 42, the former commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources; Marc Biggs, 42, the former commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Property and Procurement; and Leroy Marchena, 66, a local businessman.
The indictment alleges that Plaskett and Biggs demanded and accepted a series of bribes and kickbacks in exchange for awarding approximately $1.4 million in government contracts and then authorizing more than $1 million in progress payments—despite little or no work having been performed.
Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to violate the federal program bribery statute and to commit honest services mail fraud as well as multiple counts of federal program bribery. Plaskett, Biggs and Marchena also face multiple counts of obstructing justice, stemming from their alleged attempts to thwart the joint federal and local investigation into the underlying bribery and kickback scheme.
If convicted on all counts, Plaskett faces a maximum of 82 years in prison and a $2 million fine, Biggs faces a maximum of 37 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine and Marchena faces a maximum of 45 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. All three individuals also face restitution and criminal forfeiture in excess of $1 million.
To date, four individuals—including three other Virgin Islands government officials—have pleaded guilty to felony charges as a result of the investigation, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.