Bucks contractors sentenced for corruption

Two Bucks County businessmen were sentenced Tuesday by a federal judge in Camden for promoting corruption through their construction company during a project at Fort Dix military base in Burlington County, according to prosecutors.

Leonard Santos, 68, of Yardley, was sentenced to 85 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to two different counts: conspiring to obtain kickbacks from public works employees, and causing people to travel between states and commit an act of violence, according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

Santos is the owner of Sands Mechanical Inc., of Bristol Township. The company had been hired in 2009 to provide sheet metal, electrical and plumbing work at the Marine Corps Reserve Training Center at the military base in Fort. Dix.

According to federal prosecutors, Santos threatened to fire various employees who did not kick back a portion of their weekly paychecks. Employees who resisted were threatened with physical violence. When a supervisor on the Fort Dix project began to ask questions, Santos paid $500 to have the man’s pickup truck torched. In another incident, Santos ordered a driver to run the man down and paid $4,000 to the driver for repairs to the car. The man’s injuries kept him off the base and unable to supervise Santos’ actions.

Sands' general manager, Alex Rabinovich, 59, of Richboro, was sentenced to four months of house arrest and three years probation, Fishman said. Rabinovich had previously pleaded guilty to making payoffs to receive favorable treatment for bids on federal construction projects.

The sentences were imposed by U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez, Fishman said.