Security firm's ex-chief gets 3 year prison sentence

The one-time chairman of a federal security contracting company that collapsed this year amid a financial scandal was sentenced to nearly three years in prison Friday for lying about his taxes and hiding his criminal past from federal contracting officials. Richard S. Hudec, 44, who chaired USProtect Corp., helped broker tens of millions of dollars in federal security contracts for the Silver Spring-based company as recently as 2004.

The deals included assignments to guard the FBI's training academy in Quantico, Va., and the Social Security Administration buildings in Baltimore.

Only years later did federal authorities learn that Hudec had four prior felony convictions and had been in prison for fraud convictions in New Jersey as recently as 2001.

"The integrity of federal contractors is a matter of great importance," U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein said. "Richard Hudec repeatedly lied and violated the public trust."

Mr. Rosenstein has called the Hudec prosecution one of the biggest public corruption cases in state history.

Hudec, who previously pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 33 months in prison in federal court in Greenbelt. He also must forfeit $1.25 million.

His defense team had sought a split sentence involving incarceration and home confinement. In a memo, the defense said he "has fully accepted responsibility for his conduct and has cooperated extensively with the United States." It also said he was a person with a "good heart" who "often makes sacrifices for others."

Hudec also admitted reporting just $39,000 total income between 2001 and 2003, when he really got more than $1 million through the security company, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

USProtect was forced into bankruptcy in March by Wachovia Bank and other creditors over millions of dollars in unpaid debts. A bankruptcy trustee has filed papers saying the company sent Hudec's wife, Lisa Hudec, millions of dollars in the year before the company shuttered, leaving hundreds of guards with worthless paychecks and no access to their retirement accounts.

Two others charged in the USProtect investigation are awaiting sentencing.

Former company owner Michael B. Holiday has pleaded guilty to paying cash bribes to former General Services Administration contracting official Dessie Ruth Nelson in exchange for an inside track on getting government contracts, according to court records. A former Montgomery County police officer, Holiday sold his security company in 2003 to Mrs. Hudec.