A former employee of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Sheron Spann, has pleaded guilty to one count of taking actions affecting a personal financial interest in Washington, D.C. federal court. She has been accused of steering over $10 million worth of OPM contracts to companies associated with her husband or herself over the course of 12 years. The recommended sentence is zero to six months, and she is due to be sentenced on September 21.
Sheron Spann Steered OPM Contracts to Companies Associated with Her or Her Husband
On Friday, Spann admitted to steering OPM “information technology contracts to companies under control of Spann and her husband without disclosing the nature or extent of her relationship to the companies.” The companies she steered contracts to include Enlightened Inc, a company co-founded by her husband, Thomas Spann III, and LogApps.
Sheron Spann worked at the OPM’s contracting office in 2007. Court records show that when Enlightened was incorporated in Maryland and Washington in 1997, she signed documents as a witness for its articles of incorporation.
Enlightened Inc Won Contracts and Surpassed Funding Ceilings
Court filings reveal that in August 2011, Sheron Spann used her government email address to propose that OPM invite Enlightened to bid on a contract for developing software used to manage background investigations for federal employees and contractors. Enlightened won the contract with a funding ceiling of $4.5 million, and the work under that contract ended up surpassing the original funding ceiling to exceed $25 million.
According to the filings, Enlightened won a $1.5 million contract from OPM in April 2017 without having to compete with other bidders. Five months after that, OPM awarded Enlightened another contract that ended up earning the company more than $7.35 million.
Financial Benefit from Enlightened
The court filings also revealed that Sheron Spann was deriving a personal financial benefit from Enlightened through an intermediary company, Tier 1 LLC, which Enlightened utilized as one of its contractors. Financial records showed that Enlightened paid Tier 1 LLC nearly $736,000 from March 2012 through April 2017. The funds from Enlightened to Tier 1 made “payments for accounts that benefits both S. Spann and T. Spann, including an American Express account, and vehicle payments” to three lenders.
Sheron Spann’s lawyer has not commented on the case. The case raises concerns over conflicts of interest and the need for transparency and accountability in government contracting. The guilty plea highlights the importance of ethical behavior in the workplace and the consequences of failing to do so.