Two Miami businessmen plead guilty to paying bribes to Jackson employee

 

jweaver@MiamiHerald.com

Two Miami businessmen pleaded guilty Wednesday to paying at least $5,000 in bribes to a Jackson North Medical Center employee in exchange for landing small construction projects at the North Miami Beach hospital.

Victor Seijas, 45, and Luis Ledesma, 50, who operated Seico Construction Co., admitted they conspired to bribe the employee, Douglas Denton, between 2010 and 2013, according to a factual statement filed with their guilty pleas.

They also admitted that Denton, who worked in the hospital facility’s engineering department, gave them inside information on bids by competitors so they could beat them out for maintenance jobs at Jackson North.

Both businessmen face up to five years in prison each before U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard at their sentencings May 1. But because Seijas and Ledesma cooperated in an FBI undercover investigation of Denton last year, each is expected to receive lower sentences.

Seijas is represented by attorney Jose Quiñon and Ledesma by attorney Javier Banos.

Denton, 59, is charged with conspiring to accept at least $5,000 in bribes from the businessmen. Denton has worked 30 years for the publicly owned Jackson Health System, which includes Jackson North Medical Center.

Like the two businessmen, Denton is charged by information — not indictment. That is a telltale sign he has been in negotiations with the federal prosecutor, Pat Sullivan, and is expected to plead guilty to the charge.

Jackson Health System issued a statement after Denton’s arrest last month, saying that hospital officials became “suspicious of a problem” and reported it to the FBI.

“Jackson will not tolerate any misuse of public dollars,” a hospital spokesman said. “We are committed to pursuing any indication of malfeasance.”

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