Written by Gabriel Dillard
A contractor pleaded guilty in federal court Monday in a conspiracy to supply unqualified armed guards to the Fresno IRS facility.
Robert J. Bejarano, 49, of Kingsburg was an employee for Virginia-based E&A Protective Services in charge of managing the contract for 24-hour-a-day armed security for the IRS campus that processes federal tax returns in Southeast Fresno.
When it became apparent that many of the guards could not achieve the firearms shooting score required under the contract, Bejarano conspired with others to falsify scores and supply unqualified guards to the IRS facilities. He also approved and submitted firearms certifications that he knew were false in order to allow E&A to be paid on the contract.
Over a three-year period, E&A was paid more than $2 million on fraudulent invoices submitted to the IRS for security guards who were not qualified to work under that contract.
Co-defendant Matthew L. Cocola, 37, of Fresno who was a certified firearms instructor doing business as Security Solutions of California & The Praetorian Diversified Institute in Clovis, pleaded guilty on Aug. 8, 2016, to using a false statement in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the U.S. government.
Charges are still pending against co‑defendant Scott L. Carlton, 49, of Visalia, with a jury trial set to begin on Nov. 6.
Bejarano faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy, and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for using a false statement.