A federal official who sold homes for a Duxbury brokerage will spend four months in jail and pay nearly $18,000 after pleading guilty in a public corruption case.
Hanover resident Kevin Richards, 52, pleaded guilty to one count of receiving an unlawful gratuity as a public official and two counts of making a false statement to a federal agency in March. He was sentenced last week.
Richards worked as the New England Leasing Manager for a division of the Federal General Services Administration, which is responsible for the construction, maintenance and management of most government civilian properties federal according to Boston U.S. Attorney Rachel Rollins’ office. He also worked as an estate agent for a Duxbury estate company from 2017. It was this side job that led him to break the law. Prosecutors did not identify the brokerage.
Prosecutors say he was allowed to have the side job on the condition that he disclose it, and whether or not he received compensation, in an annual financial disclosure report required by the GSA Ethics Office . However, in his 2020 disclosure report, he claimed he was no longer selling homes for the Duxbury brokerage, then lied about it to a GSA ethics officer despite filing a federal income tax return in which he had declared a net loss of $14,592 while working for the Duxbury company in that year.
He also helped the unidentified brokerage owner find a job for him at the GSA in November 2019, prosecutors said, by emailing the person about the job offer, by substantially altering her resume and giving her confidential interview questions in advance, all without telling the GSA. or disclose that he was an agent for the person’s brokerage. Richards then chose the brokerage owner for the position from among 65 other qualified candidates and successfully lobbied to get the broker a salary of $102,517 instead of the normal $85,428.
Shortly after the brokerage owner started at the GSA and nearly two years after Richards last took a commission from the company, Richards texted the brokerage owner: “If you need any help with your new registration, let me know.” Days later, the brokerage owner advertised Richards as the listing agent for a $1.1 million property in Duxbury. Richards did not earn a commission on that listing, but did earn a $10,250 commission when a second property he listed for brokerage in Marshfield was sold, billing documents show. The billing documents do not provide any additional details about the Marshfield property, including address or price.
A memo from Richards’ attorney to the judge in the case said Richards quit his federal job and took a job as a truck driver to make ends meet. Paul Hughes, spokesman for the GSA’s New England region, said the Duxbury broker Richards hired no longer worked for the GSA.