Two former government commissioners have been sentenced for a $1.4m kickback scandal

Two former US Virgin Islands government officials have been sentenced to 16 years in prison for a $1.4m bribery and kickback scandal.

Former Department of Planning and Natural Resources commissioner Dean Plaskett and former Property and Procurement commissioner Marc Biggs were found guilty of demanding and accepting bribes and kickbacks in connection with the award of a $650,000 government contract to a shell company.

Plaskett was also convicted on two counts of obstruction of justice, stemming from his efforts to conceal the bribery and kickback scheme.

According to court documents, the bribery and kickback scheme began in early 2000 and continued through early 2004, and involved at least three government agencies and the award of more than $1.4 million in government contracts.

In late 2004 the scheme became the subject of a federal and local investigation.

To date, four individuals, including three additional Virgin Islands government officials, have pleaded guilty to felony charges as a result of the investigation.