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Ex-Virgin Islands official charged with bribery

A former government official in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been indicted on bribery and extortion charges, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.

A federal grand jury indicted Louis “Lolo” Willis on three counts each of bribery and extortion stemming from his time as the executive director of the Virgin Islands legislature from 2009 to 2012.

The indictment alleged that Willis, a resident of St. Thomas, extracted thousands of dollars in payments from three contractors working on renovations to the legislature building.

One of his responsibilities as executive director, an appointed position, included oversight of the renovation of that building, including awarding and entering into contracts on behalf of the legislature. The contracts were for general construction, air-conditioning services and carpentry, which were not publicly bid. Willis was also responsible for paying the contractors for their work.

In an unrelated, still-pending case, Willis was charged in February with fraud and tax evasion, stemming from an earlier stint as executive director of the Internal Revenue Bureau. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

The DOJ’s May 8, 2014 release is here.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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