Former USACE program manager Michael A. Alexander & contractor plead guilty to kickback scheme
Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Manager Pleads Guilty in Alleged $20 Million Bribery and Kickback Scheme Scam Involved Steering of Government Contracts; Contractor Also Pleads Guilty to Charges Today
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – February 13, 2012 – Michael A. Alexander, 55, a former program manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, pled guilty today to federal charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering in a scheme that allegedly involved more than $20 million in bribes and kickback payments and the planned steering of a $780 million government contract.
The plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Peggy E. Gustafson, Inspector General for the Small Business Administration (SBA); Robert E. Craig, Special Agent in Charge of the Mid-Atlantic Field Office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS); Eric Hylton, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and James K. Podolak, Director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s (CID) Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU).
Alexander, of Woodbridge, Va., pled guilty before the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. A sentencing date has not been set. The bribery charge carries a statutory maximum of 15 years in prison and the conspiracy charge carries up to 20 years of incarceration. The charges also carry potential fines, an order of restitution, and forfeiture of a money judgment for $1.25 million and specific property including cash, real property, bank account funds, and jewelry. As part of his plea agreement, Alexander agreed to cooperate in the government’s ongoing investigation.
At a separate and related hearing earlier today, also before Judge Sullivan, Robert L. McKinney, 51, pled guilty to bribery. McKinney was the president of Alpha Technology Group, one of the companies involved in the contracting scam. Alpha Technology Group was not one of the companies referenced in the original indictment returned against Alexander and others on September 16, 2011. A sentencing date for McKinney also has not been set.
As part of his plea agreement, McKinney agreed to forfeit about $245,000, representing the illegal proceeds he retained from the crime. He also agreed to cooperate in the government’s ongoing investigation.
“Today’s bribery and money laundering pleas relate to one of the largest procurement fraud scandals in our nation’s history and demonstrate this Office’s steadfast commitment to holding accountable unscrupulous government officials, as well as the contractors who entice them with bribes and kickbacks,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “Protecting the American taxpayer is one of our highest priorities and we will remain vigilant in the pursuit of those both inside and outside of the government who attempt to cheat the system and loot the public treasury.”
“Bribery and kickbacks have no place in government contracting,” said Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “The FBI and our partner agencies will continue to pursue those who engage in such criminal activity, as we work to protect federal funds and American taxpayers. We ask anyone with information about government fraud to contact the FBI.”
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the resolve of law enforcement to aggressively identify and prosecute individuals considering defrauding the federal government by deceit and bribery,” said SBA Inspector General Gustafson. “There are severe consequences associated with this form of criminal conduct, as this case uniquely demonstrates. The SBA OIG will relentlessly pursue fraud in government contracting programs to eliminate corruption, promote fair competition, and serve the American taxpayer.”
“Corruption of this nature recklessly deprives the hard-working men and women of the Defense Department of critical resources,” said Special Agent in Charge Craig. “Moreover, it undermines the public’s trust and confidence in Government. DCIS will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to combat fraud and corruption within the procurement process and seek to ensure that those who engage in this type of criminal behavior are brought to justice.”
“The United States Army will not tolerate fraud or corruption or tolerate those who do,” said Director Podolak. “We will continue to diligently root out anyone involved in this type of illegal activity and our commitment to working shoulder to shoulder with other law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice in this endeavor is stronger than ever. During the last 10 years alone, Army CID Special Agents have been instrumental in recovering and returning $2.1 billion dollars to the United States Treasury and the Army from fraudulent practices involving contractors.”