Former Recology Executive Pleads Guilty to Fraud Conspiracy

A former executive of Recology Inc. has confessed to being involved in paying over $55,000 in bribes to Mohammed Nuru, who used to serve as the Director of San Francisco’s Department of Public Works.

John Francis Porter, the former Vice President and Group Manager of the SF Recology Group, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit honest services mail and wire fraud in a scheme to bribe the former head of the San Francisco Department of Public Works, Mohammed Nuru. Porter and another former Recology executive paid $55,000 in bribes to influence Nuru, which included payments for holiday parties Nuru hosted for friends, political supporters, and select DPW employees. The payments were concealed as “holiday donations” to a non-profit, but Porter admitted that he knew the funds were not being used for that purpose, but instead were used for Nuru’s holiday parties. The bribes were made to influence Nuru to make official decisions that would benefit Recology’s business. Porter pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to commit honest services wire and mail fraud count, and if he complies with the plea agreement, the additional counts will be dismissed at sentencing. Porter faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, and his sentencing is scheduled for September 7, 2023.

Porter is the second Recology executive to plead guilty to charges related to the scheme to bribe Nuru. Paul F. Giusti, a former Government & Community Relations Manager with Recology, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to bribe a local official and to commit honest services fraud in July 2021. Three subsidiaries of Recology that serve San Francisco have also entered a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay $36 million in criminal penalties related to the charge of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.

Nuru was charged in January 2020 with a long-running honest services fraud scheme and pled guilty to honest services wire fraud on January 6, 2022, and was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison on August 25, 2022. The case is being prosecuted by the Corporate and Securities Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and the prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

News Source : USAO – California, Northern

By Joshi

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