Men who bribed 'Godfather of Camp Pendleton' sentenced

Pair pleaded guilty in bribery scheme

SAN DIEGO - Two contractors who paid tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to a construction supervisor -- who called himself the "Godfather of Camp Pendleton" -- in exchange for lucrative contracts at the Marine base were sentenced Friday to time in prison and ordered to pay six-figure fines.

Hugo Hernandez Alonso, president of Hugo Alonso Inc., was sentenced to a year in federal prison and ordered to pay a fine of nearly $127,000.

Bayani Yabut Abueg Jr., president of MBR Associates Inc., was given six months in custody and fined $366,140.

Both men were ordered to report for custody by Jan. 2.

Alonso pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiracy to bribe public officials and admitted an Anti-Kickback Act violation. Abueg pleaded guilty to the anti-kickback violation and filing a false tax return.

Prosecutors said both men paid tens of thousands of dollars to Natividad "Nate" Cervantes in exchange for contracts at Camp Pendleton. Cervantes also pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges and is scheduled to be sentenced July 24.

Prosecutors said the case began in 2008 when Cervantes demanded $25,000 to help Alonso and his company obtain a $3.5 million government contract to install flooring at Camp Pendleton.

Abueg said he paid Cervantes a bribe to win a $3 million contract for his company in 2011.

Cervantes was arrested in March 2013, when he met Abueg to accept the first installment of a $40,000 payment, the price for helping Abueg's company win a $4 million contract at Camp Pendleton.

Prosecutors said Abueg and Cervantes both admitted to receiving kickbacks from sub-contractors seeking to bid on work with their companies at Camp Pendleton.

According to Alonso, after the economic downtown, he said wanted to save his business, so when someone offered him a solution to make $120 million at the cost of $20million, he acknowledged that he took it. Alonso said he wanted to protect his business and his employees.

Alonso's attorney said his client is "the American dream," having come to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of 9. Alonso served in the Army for six years, "worked hard and built a company to provide a better life for his family," the attorney said.

Alonso is a father of four.

"I want to apologize to the court, I want to apologize to my family and my employees," Alonso said.

Abueg told the court, "I lacked discipline to say no and I lacked respect. I take full responsibility for my actions."

He told the judge, "I'm going to make a commitment to you, your honor. I'm going to teach subcontractors. I'm going to offer workshops to teach people the right thing to do."

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