Ex-CPA pleads guilty to bribery in Hoover Dam audit contract

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former Las Vegas certified public accountant has become the second man to plead guilty in a bribery scheme involving a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation contract at Hoover Dam and tax fraud, the Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday.

Dustin Lewis’ pleas on Tuesday to two conspiracy charges came after a co-defendant, veteran former bureau finance chief Frederick Leavitt, pleaded guilty in October to the same charges.

The men, both from Henderson, face possible sentences of more than three years in federal prison, according to their plea agreements.

Lewis, 45, of Henderson, was a certified public accountant with L.L. Bradford & Co. He's is due for sentencing April 30. His attorney, Peter Christiansen, declined to comment.

Lewis agreed to pay more $704,000 in restitution to the Southern California Public Power Authority and almost $221,000 to OneWest Bank, U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich said.

Leavitt, 48, is due for sentencing Feb. 4. He was involved in awarding contracts for the bureau that operates Hoover Dam and other Colorado River facilities providing drinking water and hydropower to about 40 million residents, farms, tribes and businesses in seven states in the Southwest. His attorney, Tom Pitaro, did not respond to messages.

Court documents alleged that beginning in 2015, Lewis paid Leavitt more than $150,000 to steer a bureau audit contract to L.L. Bradford.

Federal officials announced a public corruption probe in February 2016, after the FBI raided the bureau’s regional office in Boulder City and searched Leavitt’s home.

Prosecutors said that in a separate scheme, Lewis and Leavitt defrauded the government of more than $1.5 million by filing fraudulent 2013 tax forms on behalf of six business entities claiming more than $11 million in deductions.