Man charged with setting up sham firm to win more than $300,000 in contracts from Pittsburgh
By Michael Hasch
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012, 2:08 p.m.
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2012
The owner of Carnegie-based Victory Security was accused this week in federal court of bribing a former city employee and setting up a sham company to win more than $327,000 in contracts to install mobile data terminals in Pittsburgh police vehicles.
Arthur J. Bedway, 63, of Robinson was charged with bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud after a grand jury found that he conspired in 2006 with Christine Ann Kebr and an unnamed third person to create Alpha Outfitters LLC in Esplen, and claim it was a wholly owned women's business so he could bid on a contract, according to the indictment that was unsealed on Friday.
Kebr, who worked as a senior systems analyst for the city from October 2001 until July 2011, was formally accused of conspiracy in a one-count information memorandum filed after she waived indictment.
According to Bedway's indictment:
Pittsburgh officials decided in the summer of 2006 to outsource installation of radios and mobile data terminals in police vehicles as a cost-saving measure and that Bedway, Kebr and the unknown third person began meeting that September to discuss the creation of and partnership in a business to obtain a contract to work on the installation of the MDTs.
Later that fall, Bedway told Kebr that he was creating Alpha Outfitters, which would be owned by a “straw owner” to bid for the contract.
Bedway and Kebr began meeting in early 2007 to prepare drafting the bid of Alpha Outfitters that was submitted to the city. Their names did not appear on any of the paperwork to support the bid.
Kebr took part in reviewing the bid for the city in July 2007 and recommended that it be accepted. After the city accepted the bid, Bedway paid Kebr $3,000 for her assistance.
Pittsburgh paid Alpha Outfitters $327,729 through 2009 for the equipment contract.
Bedway's attorney, Martin Dietz, could not be reached for comment.
Kebr, whose age and address are not listed on court documents, could not be reached for comment, and no attorney for her is named on court papers. A city spokeswoman said it is not known what prompted her to leave her city position, which paid $60,591 annually.
City police Chief Nate Harper acknowledged on Friday that his wife once worked as a consultant with Cathy Bowman, co-owner of Victory Security. Harper described Bedway as a “former friend.”
“The (police bureau) had no involvement in securing this contract or making any payments,” Harper said.
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