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Civilian Contractors Archive

Former Defense Department Contract Employee Sentenced to 35 Months  in Prison for Participating in Corruption Scheme at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait

To Date, 19 Individuals Have Pleaded Guilty or Been Convicted at Trial in Ongoing Corruption Investigation

(DoJ) – April 2, 2013 – A former contract employee of the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) was sentenced today to serve 35 months in prison for his participation in a bribery and money laundering scheme arising from corruption in the award of defense contracts at Camp Arifjan, an Army base in Kuwait, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Wajdi Birjas, 41, of Evansville, Ind., was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana.  In addition to his prison term, Birjas was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $650,000.

Birjas pleaded guilty on Aug. 11, 2010, to one count of bribery conspiracy and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

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CIA Contractors Settle False Claims Act and Kickback Allegations for $3 Million

United States Alleges Companies Provided Government Employees with Meals and Entertainment to Steer Contract Award

DoJ – March 7, 2013 – The Justice Department announced today that  American Systems Corporation, Anixter International Inc., and Corning Cable Systems LLC have agreed to pay the United States $3 million to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Act in bidding on a contract with the CIA.

The settlement announced today resolves claims against these contractors related to a CIA contract awarded  to  American Systems  in  early 2009  to  provide supplies and services.  American Systems teamed with  Anixter to bid on the contract with Corning as a supplier.  The United States alleged t hat American Systems, Anixter and Corning provided gratuities, including meals, entertainment, gifts and tickets to sporting and other events, to CIA employees and outside consultants in order to influence contract specifications that would favor the three companies in the award of the contract. The settlement also resolves allegations that the three companies improperly received source selection information from a CIA employee to whom they had provided gratuities, and that they had concealed the gratuities prior to award.

“This settlement shows that the United States will protect the integrity of the federal procurement process from the wrongful activities of unscrupulous contractors,” said Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice, Civil Division.  “Plying government officials with meals and entertainment to gain favorable treatment in the award of federal contracts corrupts the procurement process and will not be allowed.”

“Improper gifts and gratuities paid to government officials are a corrupting influence on government contracts. Combating this type of conduct is a high priority in the Eastern District of Virginia,”said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil MacBride.

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Florida Couple Pleads Guilty for Roles in Procurement Contract Bribery Scheme

DoJ – February 26, 2013 – A Florida couple who owned a military contracting company pleaded guilty today in federal court in Salt Lake City for their roles in a bribery and fraud scheme involving federal procurement contracts, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David B. Barlow for the District of Utah.

Sylvester Zugrav, 70, of Sarasota, Fla., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and procurement fraud.  His wife, Maria Zugrav, 67, also of Sarasota, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony related to her efforts to conceal the conspiracy.  The Zugravs were charged in an indictment, returned on Oct. 12, 2011, along with Jose Mendez, 51, of Farr West, Utah, a procurement program manager for the U.S. Air Force Foreign Materials Acquisition Support Office (FMASO) at Hill Air Force Base, in Ogden, Utah.

Mendez was charged in the indictment with conspiracy, bribery and procurement fraud, and has since pleaded guilty to all charges and agreed to forfeit more than $180,000 he received as part of the bribery scheme and awaits sentencing.

According to court documents, the Zugravs owned Atlas International Trading Company, a business that contracted to provide foreign military materials to the U.S. government through FMASO.

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Georgia Woman Admits to Taking Bribes for the Award of Government Contracts

DoJ – February 14, 2013 – A former employee at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany pleaded guilty today to receiving bribes related to the award of contracts for machine products, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore for the Middle District of Georgia.

Michelle Rodriguez, 32, of Albany, Ga., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands in the Middle District of Georgia to one count of bribery of a public official.

During her guilty plea, Rodriguez, who worked as a supply technician in the Maintenance Center Albany (MCA), admitted to participating in a scheme to award contracts for machine products to companies operated by Thomas J. Cole and Frederick Simon, both of whom pleaded guilty to bribery charges in January 2013.

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Georgia Man Admits Taking Bribes to Allow $1 Million Theft of Government Equipment from Marine Base

DoJ – February 13, 2013 – A retired employee of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany (MCLB-Albany) pleaded guilty today to receiving bribes in exchange for allowing heavy equipment to be stolen from the base for resale, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore for the Middle District of Georgia.

Shelby C. Janes, 67, of Albany, Ga., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands in the Middle District of Georgia to one count of bribery of a public official.

During his guilty plea, Janes, the former civilian inventory control manager of the distribution management center at MCLB-Albany, admitted to participating in a scheme in which he assisted an individual, referred to in court documents as “Person A,” in stealing heavy equipment – such as cranes, bulldozers and front-end loaders – from the base.  Person A, the owner of a commercial trucking business that was routinely contracted by the MCLB’s Defense Logistics Agency, then arranged to sell the equipment to private purchasers.

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