On January 27, 1994, Rimona Friedberg, of Villanova, Pennsylvania,
was issued a "Notice of Proposed Governmentwide Debarment from
Federal Nonprocurement Transactions" pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §
85.312. The notice informed her that the proposed debarment was
based upon her conviction by the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania of two income tax offenses of
filing false personal and corporate income tax returns, in
violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 7201, 7206(2) and 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and 2.
She was also informed that she had the right to submit information
and argument in opposition to the proposed debarment.
On February 24, 1994, Mr. Richard Friedberg, Rimona Friedberg's
husband, submitted a letter, with attachments, in which he argued,
in effect, that debarment against him and Rimona Friedberg should
be denied because they are no longer involved in the Title IV
On March 9, 1994, Counsel for the Notice Official submitted a Response in which she stated that the "voluntary suspension" of Mr. and Mrs. Friedberg is insufficient to fully protect the federal interest, and it does not act to mitigate the seriousness of the offenses of which they were convicted.
First, I find that there is no dispute as to material facts. Next,
pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 85.300, I must consider the seriousness of
the person's acts or omissions and any mitigating factors in
determining whether to debar an individual, recognizing that it is
the policy of the Federal Government to conduct business only with
responsible persons. In light of the foregoing, I find that
debarment is warranted based on Mrs. Friedberg's conviction of
offenses directly connected to her trustworthiness to administer
the Federal student financial assistance programs and that these
offenses directly and adversely relate to whether she is a
responsible person for purposes of administering any Federal funds.
Under 34 C.F.R. § 85.320, the period of debarment is to be
commensurate with the seriousness of the cause(s) of debarment,
generally not to exceed three years. Based on the facts and
circumstances herein, I have determined that the period of
debarment in this case will be three years.
I order that Rimona Friedberg be DEBARRED from initiating,
conducting, or otherwise participating in any covered transaction
under the nonprocurement programs and activities of any Federal
agency. As a result, she is not eligible to receive Federal
financial and nonfinancial assistance or benefits from any Federal
agency under nonprocurement programs and activities. Also, she may
not act as a principal, as defined in 34 C.F.R. § 85.105(p), on
behalf of any person in connection with any covered transaction.
This debarment is effective for all covered transactions unless an
agency head or authorized designee grants an exception for a
particular transaction in accordance with 34 C.F.R. § 85.215.
ERNEST C. CANELLOS,
Deciding Debarment and
Dated: April 18, 1994