Ex-Broward Health exec pleads guilty to $400K bribery scheme

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward Health’s former procurement director admitted accepting over $400,000 in kickbacks as he pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge Tuesday.

Brian Bravo, 46, of Pembroke Pines, entered the guilty plea in federal district court in Fort Lauderdale, prosecutors announced. Bravo had been investigated for accepting bribes in exchange for awarding vendors lucrative government contracts.

“As Procurement Director, one of Bravo’s responsibilities was to decide which vendors would provide goods and services to Broward Health, including health care products, linens, compression sleeves, and printer repairs,” the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said in a news release. “During his change of plea hearing, Bravo admitted to accepting approximately $427,000 in kickback payments ($150,000 of it in cash) from two vendors and a consultant for two additional vendors in exchange for awarding them Broward Health goods and services contracts. In 2015, Bravo steered kickback payments to designated bank accounts in order to conceal the illegal activity.”

Bravo was in that role from 2005 through 2015.

Local 10 News reported in 2016 that Bravo, who oversaw all purchases for the billion-dollar-a-year agency running Broward Health Medical Center and four other hospitals, accepted a flight in a Lear jet from a major vendor and requested that another potential vendor hire him as a consultant in order to get the work.

Bravo is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 12. He faces up to five years in prison.