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Iowa man sentenced to prison for bribing city employee to benefit his business

DAVENPORT, IA – An Iowa man will serve 4 months in a federal prison for giving bribes to an employee of the city of Bettendorf to keep cash flowing to his electrical business.

On January 18, 2017, Robert L. Budd, Jr., age 73, of Bettendorf, Iowa, was sentenced by Chief United States District Court Judge John A. Jarvey to four months in prison for conspiracy to bribe a public official and four months for bribery of a public official, the sentences to run concurrently, announced United States Attorney Kevin E. VanderSchel. Budd was fined $25,000, was ordered to serve a two-year term of supervised release following his imprisonment, and to pay $200 in special assessments to the Crime Victims’ Fund.

On May 20, 2016, Budd pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. As part of a written plea agreement, Budd admitted he was a manager at Brown Traffic Products, Inc. (BTP) in Davenport, Iowa, and he approved and made payments to Robert Webster, the Bettendorf City Electrician, for travel, meals, drinks, entertainment, and other expenses, including tickets to NASCAR events and trips to business conferences.

Budd also admitted on March 27, 2009, he reimbursed Webster for a trip by writing a check to Webster’s wife for $2,700, which was deposited into the Websters’ credit union account. Budd admitted this and other payments were made in an effort to influence Webster to continue doing business with BTP, and to reward him for conducting business with BTP.

In July of 2016, Robert Webster, former Bettendorf City Electrician, pleaded guilty to three felony counts. He is presently scheduled to be sentenced on March 16, 2017, in Davenport.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the cooperation of the City of Bettendorf. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

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