A Boerne couple that worked at Ft. Sam Houston is going to federal prison for a kickback scheme involving government contracts.
Velma Salinas-Nix and her husband Kenneth were sentenced to prison terms of 20-months and 30-months on charges they defrauded the United States. It was not their elaborate embezzlement plant that ran them afoul of the law. It was the fact that they didn't report the bribes when they did their federal taxes.
Nix was the former chief of contracting for the Army. Prosecutors in court said he rigged bids to a private company he worked for called Vistas Construction of Illinois.
"I've mad some colossal mistakes in my life," he told the judge. "This is the top of the list."
Salinas-Nix was a high-ranking civilian manager who handled contracts in South America, and helped with the deals.
"I rue the day I was faced with a decision and I chose the wrong one," she told the judge.
The Internal Revenue Service because aware of the couple when they purchased a $1.5 million home in Boerne. In court, prosecutors detailed the "hand-laid driveway with mosaic stones" that Salinas-Nix designed. A company who wanted a government contract did the work on the home.
"All income is taxable including barter income," IRS Special Agent Mike Lemoine tells 1200 WOAI. "There are actually special rules for barter income."
The couple must also pay back $153,249 in back taxes.
"It send a clear message that if you're put in a position of trust by the government that you need to honor that position and you need to conduct your affairs accordingly, including your tax affairs," he said.