George Dobuzinsky, 57, of Durham, pleaded 'not guilty' in court Monday, June 16, on charges of conspiracy and fraud offenses stemming from a kickback scheme he allegedly operated while employed at Yale University.
A four-count indictment charges Dobuzinsky with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of honest services wire fraud. Each charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford returned a four-count indictment charging Dobuzinsky with the above offenses.
The indictment was returned on June 11. Dobuzinsky appeared on June 16, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport, and entered a plea of not guilty. He was released on a $300,000 bond.According to the indictment and to statements made in court, Dobuzinsky has been employed by Yale University as a project manager responsible for obtaining vendors to complete audio/visual projects on Yale’s campus.
It is alleged that between 2005 and 2013, Dobuzinsky arranged to receive tens of thousands of dollars in kickback payments from vendors in exchange for awarding them additional audio/visual project work, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
At first, Dobuzinsky allegedly directed the vendors to make kickback payments to him in the form of checks payable to an entity owned by Dobuzinsky’s friend, who allegedly later provided the money to him.
Later in the scheme, Dobuzinsky allegedly directed an individual to start a limited liability corporation to which vendors could direct their kickback payments.
The individual would deposit the checks at bank branches in Connecticut, and Dobuzinsky and the individual would spend the money on household expenses, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The indictment further alleges that at various times and during holidays, Dobuzinsky would request and receive gifts from vendors, including steakhouse gift certificates and electronic equipment for personal use.
The case is assigned to Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton in Bridgeport. The matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarala V. Nagala.
Daly stressed in a press release that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.