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U.S. Army Master Sergeant, Julio Soto Jr., Pleads Guilty to Defrauding U.S. Government

Dining Facility sign – FOB Hammer

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – August 29, 2012 – A U.S. Army master sergeant pleaded guilty today to accepting thousands of dollars in gratuities from contractors during his deployment to Iraq as a field ordering officer at a forward operating base in Iraq, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina William N. Nettles.

Julio Soto Jr., 52, of Columbus, Ga., pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Chief Judge Margaret B. Seymour in the District of South Carolina to a criminal information charging him with one count of conspiracy to accept illegal gratuities. 

According to court documents, Soto was a master sergeant in the U.S. Army, deployed to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Hammer in Iraq, as a field ordering officer (FOO), a public official.  FOO funds are used to purchase miscellaneous items and supplies such as paint, lumber and plywood from local vendors.  It is a violation of federal law for field ordering officers to accept gratuities from contractors dependent upon them for contracts.

In or about March 2007 through October 2008, Soto, along with an alleged U.S. Army co-conspirator, was involved with the construction of a government building at FOB Hammer by local Iraqi contractors.  Soto and his alleged co-conspirator unlawfully sought, received and accepted illegal gratuities for helping Iraqi contractors gain U.S. government contracts, and then purchased U.S. Postal money orders with the illegal proceeds and mailed them back to the United States.

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Jill Ann Charpia, co-owner Sourcing Specialist LLC, pleads guilty to Iraq contracting fraud

Former Co-Owner of Contracting Company Pleads Guilty to Defrauding U.S. Government

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – August 9, 2012 – A former co-owner of a U.S. civilian contractor company pleaded guilty today to falsifying official documents in connection with Iraq reconstruction government contracts, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman for the Western District of Texas.

Jill Ann Charpia, 33, formerly of San Antonio and currently of Colorado, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry J. Bemporad in San Antonio to a criminal information charging her with one-count of false statements to a government agency. 

According to court documents, from 2008 through 2009, Charpia was the co-owner of Sourcing Specialist LLC, a privately owned company that contracted with the United States government to provide services in Iraq.  In September 2008, she contracted to provide a turn-key housing facility located outside Iraq’s International Zone to facilitate the introduction of multi-national firms desiring to develop business opportunities in Iraq.  Read the remainder of this entry »

Christopher Castro & Ernest Gonzales sentenced for Military recruiting fraud

Two Former Soldiers Sentenced for Their Participation in Fraud Scheme to Obtain $244,000 in Military Recruiting Referral Bonuses

Christopher Castro enters the federal courthouse in San Antonio. The former Marine is one of six current or former military personnel indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the federal government, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Photo: Billy Calzada/gcalzada@express-news.net / gcalzada@express-news.net

Christopher Castro enters the federal courthouse in San Antonio. Photo: Billy Calzada

Defendants Ordered to Pay $244,000 in Restitution
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – July 2, 2012 – Christopher Castro, 31, of San Antonio, Texas, and Ernest Gonzales, 51, also of San Antonio, were sentenced for their participation in a conspiracy to obtain approximately $244,000 in fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses from various U.S. military components and their contractor, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

On June 29, 2012, Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery sentenced Christopher Castro to one year and a day in prison, to be followed by three years supervised release.  Ernest Gonzales was sentenced on June 29, 2012, by Chief Judge Biery to five years probation.  Chief Judge Biery also ordered Castro and Gonzales to pay $244,000 in restitution, to be paid jointly and severally.

Castro pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on Nov. 3, 2011.  Gonzales pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on Jan. 28, 2010.

According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Castro served at different times in the Army National Guard and the Army Reserves from February 2007 through February 2008.  Castro also served as a civilian contract recruiter from June 2007 through October 2009.  Gonzales has served at different times in the Army National Guard and the Army Reserves from June 2005 to present.

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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).

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Former ITT employee Delmus Scott Jr. guilty of theft at APO

Camp Buehring, Kuwait Postmaster Convicted of Stealing $565,000 in Money Orders

(FBI) – January 27, 2012 – HOUSTON – Delmus Eugene Scott, Jr., 34, of Humble, Texas, has pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government money, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Scott was the former custodian of public effects (COPE), which is the equivalent to a postmaster in the United States.

Scott was employed by a contractor of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for providing postal services to U.S. military personnel deployed in Kuwait. Scott’s responsibilities included conducting and reporting financial transactions at the Army Post Office (APO) on a daily basis, to include the procurement and sale of U.S. Postal Service money orders. As the COPE, Scott had full autonomy to order blank money orders directly from the U.S. Postal Service distribution center.

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