Thursday, July 19, 2007

AP: Suspect in prison food bribery case flees Oregon, officials say

re: PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A fired state prison food manager has fled from federal investigators before he could be charged with taking more than $1 million in bribes, but his wife was arrested Wednesday, authorities said. /Farhad "Fred" Monem flew to Buffalo, N.Y., on July 1 but did not make the return trip scheduled July 11, according to an affidavit filed Wednesday by Robert Salisbury, an Internal Revenue Service supervisory agent...[snip]...Fred Monem, a native of Iran, came to the United States in 1979 to avoid military service. Relatives in Iran include his father, according to court papers. /The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 and has no extradition treaty. Federal officials said, however, they had no information Monem has fled to his native country...[snip]...The bribery charges against the Monems were based almost entirely on statements filed by four food vendors who earlier pleaded guilty to bribing Fred Monem. The statements, which had been disclosed previously, outlined how the vendors paid Monem in cash and by check to steer more than $20 million in business to them. /Fred Monem had built a good reputation at the state Corrections Department for driving down the cost of feeding the state's 13,300 inmates. He shifted much of the agency's purchases to the "spot" food market, arranging to buy deeply-discounted name-brand foods that were overstocked or nearing their expiration date. /Investigators were tipped to the bribery scheme last October by a former employee of a Los Angeles vendor..."...

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