Wisconsin Fraud: State official accused of corruption

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Georgia Thompson, a purchasing division supervisor in the Wisconsin Department of Administration has been charged in federal court with 2 felonies. The charges include misapplication of funds and participating in a scheme to defraud the State.

The charges stem from the awarding of a $750,000 contract to provide travel services to the State. Thompson was on the team that reviewed bids from travel agencies, and the team awarded the contract to Adelman Travel.

Thompson was the coordinator of a process that limited the number of travel agencies doing business with the State. She allegedly manipulated the contract process to create job security for herself and create a political advantage for her supervisors.

In 2004, bids were solicited for 6 travel contracts. The largest one included 40% of the State’s travel business. Thompson and her team evaluated bids and utilized a scoring system. After written bids were examined, Thompson is accused of manipulating the next step of the process by inflating her scores for Adelman Travel and convincing other committee members to do the same.

Other team members agreed that the contract should go to Omega World Travel because of a higher score than Adelman. Thompson convinced the team to allow Adelman and Omega to present their “best and final” numbers, even though Omega won. A final round of bids was solicited from the two firms, and Adelman was awarded the contract.

The maximum possible penalty if convicted, is 20 years in prison.

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