ATLANTA - Elvis Gordon, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) supervisor, and small business owner Ivan Ponder have been arraigned on bribery and conspiracy charges for using Gordon’s influence to divert FDA contracts to a company owned by Ponder.
“Gordon and Ponder allegedly carried out a kickback scheme that lined both their pockets with taxpayer money for nearly six years,” said U. S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Gordon is charged with violating the public’s trust by taking bribes in exchange for steering FDA business to Ponder.”
“Every federal employee has the responsibility to use the public’s funds wisely,” said Antoinette V. Henry, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Office of Internal Affairs. “When FDA employees abuse that trust, we will act swiftly to investigate and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Elvis Gordon is the Senior Facilities Manager of the FDA field office in Atlanta, and in that role influences the selection of businesses that do various maintenance work at the FDA building in the Atlanta area.
From 2010 until 2016, Gordon allegedly used his position to direct work to P&E Management, a company owned by Ivan Ponder. Ponder, in turn, gave Gordon a debit card tied to P&E’s bank account, which Gordon used for shopping sprees, vacations, and dining out. On one occasion, Gordon used the debit card to pay for FDA business trip expenses, for which Gordon later sought reimbursement from the FDA. P&E also purchased a Cadillac Escalade for Gordon and his wife.
Elvis Gordon, 51, of Marietta, Georgia, and Ivan Ponder, 38, of Hiram, Georgia, were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Catherine M. Salinas. The defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on October 17, 2017.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Internal Affairs.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynsey M. Barron is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov(link sends e-mail) or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.