U.S. Army Sergeant Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison for Taking Bribes While Deployed in Afghanistan

A sergeant with the U.S. Army was sentenced today to 51 months in prison for accepting bribes from Afghan truck drivers at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Gardez in Afghanistan, in exchange for allowing the drivers to take thousands of gallons of fuel from the base for resale on the black market, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore of the Middle District of Georgia.

James Edward Norris, 41, of Fort Irwin, California, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land of the Middle District of Georgia, who also ordered Norris to pay $176,100 in restitution and to forfeit two vehicles he purchased with money from the bribery scheme and $70,000 in cash that he received from the scheme.

In connection with his guilty plea, Norris admitted that he conspired with other soldiers stationed at FOB Gardez to solicit and accept approximately $2,000 per day from local Afghan truck drivers in exchange for permitting the truck drivers to take thousands of gallons of fuel from the base.  Norris admitted that he was personally paid a total of $100,000 over the course of the conspiracy.

Norris and the other soldiers shipped the bribe proceeds back to the United States in tough boxes.  Norris admitted that, after returning from deployment, he purchased a 2008 Cadillac Escalade with $31,000 cash derived from the bribery scheme and a custom built 2014 Hardcore Choppers motorcycle with approximately $30,000 in proceeds from the scheme.

Seneca Hampton, another U.S. Army sergeant, pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme on Feb. 10, 2015, and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 28, 2015.  Anthony Tran, a former U.S. Army specialist, was indicted on March 10, 2015, for his alleged role in the scheme and remains pending trial.  The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Contract Audit Agency’s Investigative Support Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney John Keller of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.

Former United States Navy Military Sealift Command Contractor and Co-Founder of Government Contracting Company Sentenced to Prison

A former contractor for the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command (MSC) and a co-founder of a Chesapeake, Virginia, government contracting company were sentenced today for their roles in a scheme to bribe and provide illegal gratuities to public officials to secure lucrative military contracts.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Royce E. Curtin of the FBI’s Norfolk Office, Executive Assistant Director Charles T. May Jr. of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig, Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office made the announcement.  United States District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the Eastern District of Virginia imposed the sentences.

Scott B. Miserendino Sr., 55, of Stafford, Virginia, and Timothy S. Miller, 58, of Chesapeake, Virginia, were sentenced to serve 96 months in prison and 24 months in prison, respectively.  Miserendino was also ordered to forfeit $212,000 and Miller was ordered to forfeit $167,000.  Miller was also ordered to pay a fine of $25,000.  In August 2014, Miserendino pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of bribery, and Miller pleaded guilty to providing illegal gratuities to Miserendino and Kenny E. Toy, the former Afloat Programs Manager for the N6 Command, Control, Communication, and Computer Systems Directorate.

According to admissions in his plea agreement, Miserendino was a government contractor at the MSC, which is the leading provider of transportation for the U.S. Navy.  In that position, Miserendino worked closely with Toy, who exercised substantial influence over the MSC contracting process.  In November 2004, Miserendino and Toy initiated a bribery scheme that spanned five years, involved multiple co-conspirators, including two companies, and resulted in Miserendino and Toy receiving more than $265,000 in cash, among other things of value, in exchange for official acts in connection with the award of MSC contracts.

Specifically, Miserendino and Toy solicited cash from co-conspirators, including a $50,000 cash payment from Miller and his business partner, Dwayne A. Hardman, to influence the award of government contracts.  Miserendino admitted that he and Toy also accepted other things of value in exchange for official acts, including a vacation rental, laptop computers, flat screen televisions, a football helmet signed by Troy Aikman, a wine refrigerator and softball bats.

According to Miller’s admissions, during the scheme, his company received approximately $2.5 million in business from the MSC, despite its limited record of past performance in the industry.  Miserendino and Toy also directed $3 million in business from MSC to another company run by other co-conspirators.

After the cash payments were delivered, Miller admitted that he directed the creation of a false promissory note disguising the illegal gratuities as a personal loan to another individual.  Miserendino also admitted to engaging in a scheme to conceal his criminal activity by arranging for more than $85,000 to be paid to Hardman in an attempt to dissuade him from reporting the bribery scheme to law enforcement authorities.

Earlier this year, five other individuals pleaded guilty and were sentenced in connection with the bribery scheme:

  • Toy pleaded guilty to bribery and was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to forfeit $100,000;
  • Hardman pleaded guilty to bribery and was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to forfeit $144,000;
  • Michael P. McPhail pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to forfeit $57,000;
  • Roderic J. Smith pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to forfeit $175,000; and
  • Adam C. White pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to forfeit $57,000.

The case was investigated by the FBI, NCIS and DCIS, and prosecuted by Trial Attorney Emily Rae Woods of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Haynie of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Mississippi Man Pleads Guilty to Paying Bribes to Employees at Military Base for Freight Business

A former driver for a national trucking company pleaded guilty today to bribery charges, admitting that he bribed employees in the Traffic Office at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany (MCLB-Albany) in order to obtain lucrative freight hauling business, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore of the Middle District of Georgia.

David R. Nelson, 54, of Lucedale, Mississippi, pleaded guilty today 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, Nelson, a former driver for a large transportation company based in Louisville, Kentucky, admitted to paying more than $100,000 in bribes between 2006 and 2012 to officials in the Traffic Office at MCLB-Albany in exchange for obtaining freight shipments from the base to destinations on the West Coast.  The bribes started at $500 for each shipment, but later grew to as much as $1,500 per shipment.  From the money he made from these freight shipments, Nelson purchased a $50,000 specially-modified trailer that allowed him to carry multiple Protected Security Service loads on a single trip.

As part of his plea agreement with the United States, Nelson agreed to forfeit the proceeds he received as a result of the bribery scheme, as well as to pay full restitution to the Department of Defense.  Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

The case is being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Richard B. Evans, J.P. Cooney and John Keller of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Alan Dasher of the Middle District of Georgia.

Co-Founder of Government Contracting Company Pleads Guilty to Bribery

Timothy S. Miller, 58, a co-founder of a Chesapeake, Virginia, government contracting company, pleaded guilty today to bribing two public officials working for the United States Navy Military Sealift Command.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Susan Triesch of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Norfolk Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Royce E. Curtin of the FBI Norfolk Field Office made the announcement today after Miller’s guilty plea was accepted by United States Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard of the Eastern District of Virginia.

According to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, in February 2009, Miller, along with his business partner, Dwayne A. Hardman, co-founded a government contracting company that provided telecommunications support to the Military Sealift Command, which is the leading provider of transportation for the U.S. Navy.

At the plea hearing, Miller admitted that he bribed two officials at the Military Sealift Command for favorable official acts.    In particular, he admitted that on May 12, 2009, he gave $30,000 in cash to Kenny E. Toy, the former Afloat Programs Manager for the Military Sealift Command’s N6 Command, Control, Communication, and Computer Systems Directorate, and Scott B. Miserendino Sr., a government contractor who worked with Toy at the Military Sealift Command Headquarters.    He also admitted that just two days after giving Toy and Miserendino the $30,000, he agreed that Hardman should give Toy and Miserendino an additional $20,000.

According to Miller’s statement of facts, Toy exercised substantial influence over the Military Sealift Command contracting process by creating and executing multi-million dollar budgets, obtaining funding for projects, developing and having access to sensitive information, and requesting that subcontract work be awarded to particular companies.   As a result of the $50,000 payment, Miserendino and Toy performed various official acts to assist Miller’s company.    Indeed, in 2009, Miller’s company received approximately $2.5 million in business from the Military Sealift Command.

As a condition of his plea agreement, Miller has agreed to forfeit $167,000.    Miller is scheduled to be sentenced on November 7, 2014.

Earlier this year, five other individuals pleaded guilty in connection with the bribery scheme.    On February 12, 2014, Toy pleaded guilty to bribery, and he was sentenced on July 29, 2014, to serve 96 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $100,000.    On February 18, 2014, Hardman pleaded guilty to bribery, and he was sentenced on July 9, 2014, to serve 96 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $144,000.    On February 19, 2014, Michael P. McPhail pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, and he was sentenced on August 5, 2014, to serve 36 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $57,000.    On March 5, 2014, Roderic J. Smith pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, and he was sentenced on June 23, 2014, to serve 48 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $175,000.    On April 4, 2014, Adam C. White pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, and he was sentenced on July 11, 2014, to serve 24 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $57,000.

The case was investigated by the FBI, NCIS and DCIS.    The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Emily Rae Woods of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Haynie of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Former U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command Manager Sentenced for Receiving Bribes

Kenny E. Toy, 54, the former Afloat Programs Manager at the United States Navy Military Sealift Command, was sentenced today to serve 96 months in prison for receiving bribes.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office, Acting Executive Assistant Director Charles T. May Jr. of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Atlantic Operations and Special Agent in Charge Royce E. Curtin of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office made the announcement today after sentencing by United States Chief Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the Eastern District of Virginia.

On Feb. 12, 2014, Toy pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with one count of bribery.   According to the statement of facts filed with Toy’s plea agreement, Toy was employed as the Afloat Programs Manager in the N6 Command, Control, Communication, and Computer Systems Directorate at the Military Sealift Command, which is the leading provider of transportation for the United States Navy.  In approximately November 2004, Toy joined an extensive bribery conspiracy that spanned five years, involved multiple co-conspirators, including two different companies, and resulted in the payment of more than $265,000 in cash bribes, among other things of value, to Toy and to Scott B. Miserendino Sr., a former government contractor who performed work for the Military Sealift Command.

At his plea hearing, Toy admitted that he accepted monthly cash bribes of approximately $3,000, as well as a flat screen television and a paid vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, from co-conspirators Dwayne A. Hardman, Roderic J. Smith, Michael P. McPhail and Adam C. White, all of whom were employed at a government contracting company referred to as Company A in court documents.  Toy also admitted that he accepted a $50,000 cash bribe in May 2009 from Hardman and another co-conspirator, Timothy S. Miller, both of whom were employed at a government contracting company referred to as Company B in court documents.  In exchange for the bribes, Toy provided favorable treatment to Company A and Company B in connection with Military Sealift Command related business.

As part of his guilty plea, Toy also admitted to engaging in a scheme to conceal his criminal activity.  Toy admitted to causing more than $88,000 to be paid to Hardman in an attempt to prevent Hardman from reporting the bribery scheme to law enforcement authorities.

Toy was also ordered to serve a supervised release term of three years following his prison sentence, and ordered to forfeit $100,000.

Earlier this year, four other individuals pleaded guilty in connection with the bribery scheme.  On Feb. 18, 2014, Hardman, the co-founder of Company A and Company B, pleaded guilty to providing bribes to Toy and Miserendino.   On Feb. 19, 2014, McPhail, a former employee at Company A, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.   On April 4, 2014, White, a former vice president at Company A, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.   On March 5, 2014, Smith, the former president of Company A, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe public officials.   On June 23, 2014, United States District Judge Henry Coke Morgan sentenced Smith to serve 48 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $175,000.

On May 23, 2014, a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia indicted Miserendino and Timothy S. Miller, a businessman whose company sought contracting business from the Military Sealift Command.   The indictment charges Miserendino with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit obstruction of criminal investigations and to commit tampering with a witness, and one count of obstruction of criminal investigations.   The indictment charges Miller with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery.   Trial is set for Sept. 30, 2014, before Chief Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.

Charges contained in an indictment are merely allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case was investigated by the FBI, NCIS and DCIS.   The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Emily Rae Woods of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Haynie of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Two Former Chesapeake, Virginia, Subcontractors Sentenced for Bribery, Conspiracy

Dwayne A. Hardman, 44, co-founder of two government contracting companies that sought business from the United States Navy Military Sealift Command (MSC), and Adam C. White, 40, former vice president and co-owner of one of Hardman’s government contracting companies, were sentenced for bribery and conspiracy.    On July 9, 2014, Hardman was sentenced to 96 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.    White was sentenced today to serve 24 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.    Hardman was ordered to forfeit $144,000, and White was ordered to forfeit $57,000.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Royce E. Curtin of the FBI’s Norfolk Office, Acting Executive Assistant Director Charles T. May Jr. of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office made the announcement today after sentencing by United States Chief Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the Eastern District of Virginia.
According to court documents, Hardman and White participated in a five-year bribery scheme in which they and several co-conspirators provided more than $265,000 in cash bribes, among other things, to two public officials working for MSC, in an illegal effort to influence those public officials to provide favorable treatment to Hardman and White’s companies in connection with United States government contracting work.
On Feb. 18, 2014, Hardman pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with bribery.    According to the plea documents, Hardman was the co-founder of two government contracting companies, referred to as Company A and Company B, located in Chesapeake, Virginia that sought contracting business from MSC, which is the leading provider of transportation for the United States Navy.  At his plea hearing, Hardman admitted that beginning in March 2005, he and other Company A employees, provided approximately $3,000 in cash bribes per month to two MSC public officials, Kenny E. Toy, the former Afloat Programs Manager for the MSC’s N6 Command, Control, Communication, and Computer Systems Directorate, and Scott B. Miserendino Sr., a former government contractor who performed work for the MSC.  Those Company A employees included Roderic J. Smith, the former president, co-owner and co-founder of Company A; Adam C. White, a former vice president and co-owner of Company A; and Michael P. McPhail a former project manager and co-owner of Company A.  Hardman also admitted that in May 2009, he and Timothy S. Miller, co-founder of Company B, provided $50,000 in cash bribes to Toy and Miserendino.    In addition to the cash bribes, Hardman stated that he and his co-conspirators provided Toy and Miserendino flat screen televisions, a paid vacation to Nags Head in North Carolina, a personal loan and installation of hardwood floors in Toy’s residence.
In exchange for these bribes, Toy and Miserendino provided favorable treatment in connection with MSC-related business to both Company A and Company B.  During the bribery scheme, Company A received approximately $3 million in MSC-related business, and Company B received approximately $2.4 million in MSC-related business.
As part of his guilty plea, Hardman also admitted that, in approximately November or December 2010, Hardman threatened to report the bribery activities to law enforcement authorities if his co-conspirators did not provide him money.    In total, Hardman admitted that he received approximately $85,000 from his co-conspirators, including Smith, Toy and Miserendino, in exchange for not reporting the bribery scheme to law enforcement authorities.
On April 4, 2014, White pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with conspiracy to commit bribery.    At his plea hearing, White admitted that from approximately April 2005 until approximately March 2006, he personally contributed approximately $26,000 in cash bribe payments for Toy and Miserendino, and White was aware that other co-conspirators, including Hardman, Smith and McPhail, were also contributing cash and other things of value to be provided to Toy and Miserendino in exchange for their official assistance in providing MSC-related business.
Earlier this year, three other individuals pleaded guilty in connection with the bribery scheme.    On Feb. 12, 2014, Toy, the former Afloat Programs Manager, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from Hardman, White, and others.    On Feb. 19, 2014, McPhail pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.    On March 5, 2014, Smith pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe public officials.
On June 23, 2014, United States District Judge Henry Coke Morgan of the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced Smith to 48 months in prison followed by 1 year of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $175,000.
On May 23, 2014, a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia indicted Miserendino and Miller.    The indictment charges Miserendino with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit obstruction of criminal investigations and to commit tampering with a witness, and one count of obstruction of criminal investigations.    The indictment charges Miller with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery.    Trial is set for Sept. 30, 2014, before Chief Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the Eastern District of Virginia.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the FBI, NCIS, and DCIS.    The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Emily Rae Woods of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Haynie of the Eastern District of Virginia.

 

Former Chesapeake, Virginia Subcontractor Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Bribery

Roderic J. Smith, 50, the co-founder and former president of a government contracting company, was sentenced yesterday to 48 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for conspiracy to bribe public officials.    Smith was ordered to forfeit $175,000.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Dana J. Boente, for the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office, Acting Executive Assistant Director Charles T. May, Jr., of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Atlantic Operations, and Special Agent in Charge Royce E. Curtin of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office made the announcement today after sentencing by United States District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. of the Eastern District of Virginia.
On March 5, 2014, Smith pleaded guilty to a criminal information.    According to court documents, Smith was the co-founder and president of a contracting company located in Chesapeake, Virginia, that sought contracting business from the United States Navy Military Sealift Command.    In approximately November 2004, Smith joined an extensive bribery conspiracy that spanned four years, involved multiple co-conspirators, including two different companies, and resulted in the payment of more than $265,000 in cash bribes, among other things of value, to two public officials performing work for the Military Sealift Command, Kenny E. Toy and Scott B. Miserendino, Sr.    In exchange for the bribe payments, Smith’s business, referred to as Company A in court documents, received lucrative business from the Military Sealift Command that amounted to approximately $3 million in task orders during the time period of the conspiracy.
As part of his guilty plea, Smith also admitted to engaging in a scheme to conceal his criminal activity.    According to the plea agreement, Smith admitted to paying more than $85,000 to his business partner, Dwayne A. Hardman, in an attempt to prevent Hardman from reporting the bribery scheme to law enforcement authorities.
Earlier this year, four other individuals pleaded guilty in connection with the bribery scheme.    On Feb. 12, 2014, Kenny Toy, the former Afloat Programs Manager for the Military Sealift Command’s N6 Command, Control, Communication, and Computer Systems Directorate, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from Smith and others.    On Feb. 18, 2014, Smith’s business partner, Dwayne A. Hardman, pleaded guilty to bribery.    On Feb. 19, 2014 and April 4, 2014, respectively, Smith’s associate, Michael P. McPhail, and another Smith associate, Adam C. White, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.
On May 23, 2014, a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia indicted two individuals in connection with the bribery scheme, Scott B. Miserendino, Sr., a former government contractor who performed work for the Military Sealift Command, and Timothy S. Miller, a businessman whose company sought contracting business from the Military Sealift Command.    The indictment charges Miserendino with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of bribery, one count of conspiracy to obstruct a criminal investigation and to tamper with a witness, and one count of obstruction of a criminal investigation.    The indictment charges Miller with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery.    The trial on these charges is scheduled to begin on Sept. 30, 2014, before Chief Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.    The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by the FBI, NCIS and DCIS.    The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Emily Rae Woods of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Haynie of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Navy Military Sealift Command Official and Businessman Charged with Bribery

Scott B. Miserendino, Sr., 55, a former government contractor who performed work for the United States Navy Military Sealift Command , and Timothy S. Miller, 57, a businessman whose company sought contracting business from the Military Sealift Command, were indicted today on charges including conspiracy and bribery.
Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service Mid-Atlantic Field Office (DCIS), Acting Executive Assistant Director Charles T. May Jr. of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Atlantic Operations and Special Agent in Charge Royce E. Curtin of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office made the announcement.
A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia returned a six-count indictment today that charges Miserendino with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit obstruction of criminal investigations and to commit tampering with a witness, and one count of obstruction of criminal investigations.    The indictment charges Miller with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery of a public official.
According to the indictment, Miserendino was a government contractor at the Military Sealift Command, the leading provider of transportation for the United States Navy.    The indictment alleges that Miserendino worked closely with another Military Sealift Command official, Kenny E. Toy, in managing telecommunications projects and in influencing the award of United States government contracts, subcontracts, and task orders.
The indictment alleges that Miserendino solicited and accepted bribes, in the form of cash, a flat screen plasma television, a wine refrigerator, and other items, in exchange for providing favorable treatment to two companies in connection with United States government contracts.
Between March 2005 and 2007, Miserendino allegedly accepted cash payments of approximately $3,000 per month from agents of Company A, a corporation that sought contracting business from the Military Sealift Command.    In total, Miserendino accepted approximately $100,000 in bribes from Company A’s agents.
In addition, the indictment alleges that, in February 2009, Miller and his business partner Dwayne A. Hardman established Company B, a government contracting corporation located in Chesapeake, Virginia, to provide support to the Military Sealift Command on various telecommunications projects.    Shortly thereafter, in May 2009, Miller and Hardman allegedly paid cash bribes totaling $50,000 to Miserendino and Toy in exchange for favorable treatment in connection with U.S. government contracts, subcontracts, and task orders.
In addition, as alleged in the indictment, Miserendino obstructed justice and tampered with a witness by causing $85,000 to be paid to Hardman in an attempt to prevent or delay him from reporting the bribery scheme to law enforcement authorities.
Prior to this indictment, five other individuals pleaded guilty in connection with the bribery scheme.    On Feb. 12, 2014, Kenny E. Toy, former Afloat Programs Manager for the Military Sealift Command N6 Command, Control, Communication and Computer Systems Directorate, pleaded guilty to bribery and admitted to receiving more than $100,000 in cash bribes in exchange for providing favorable treatment to two companies in connection with U.S. government contracts.    On Feb. 18, 2014, Dwayne A. Hardman, Miller’s business partner, pleaded guilty to bribery and admitted to providing more than $140,000 in cash bribes to Toy and Miserendino.    On Feb. 19, 2014, Michael P. McPhail pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and agreed to forfeit $57,000.    On March 5, 2014, Roderic J. Smith pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and agreed to forfeit $175,000.    On April 4, 2014, Adam C. White pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and agreed to forfeit $57,000.
The case was investigated by the DCIS, NCIS and the FBI.    The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Emily Rae Woods of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Haynie of the Eastern District of Virginia.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

 

Former Executive Director of Virgin Islands Legislature Charged with Bribery and Extortion in Award of Government Contracts

The former executive director of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands was indicted today by a federal grand jury in the Virgin Islands for accepting bribes and engaging in extortion in the award of contracts with the Legislature, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe for the District of the Virgin Islands.
The indictment charges Louis “Lolo” Willis, 56, of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, with three counts of federal programs bribery and three counts of extortion under color of official right.
According to the indictment, Willis was the executive director of the Legislature between 2009 and 2012.  One of his responsibilities included oversight of the renovation of the Legislature building, which included awarding and entering into contracts on behalf of the Legislature.    These contracts included contracts for general construction, air-conditioning services and carpentry, which were not publicly bid.  Willis was also responsible for paying the contractors for their work.    As alleged in the indictment, Willis accepted payments, including, among other things, thousands of dollars in cash, from three contractors in exchange for using his official position to secure contracting work for the contractors and to ensure they received payment upon completion.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s San Juan Division, the Office of the Virgin Islands Inspector General and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.    The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter Mason and Jennifer Blackwell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Anderson of the District of the Virgin Islands.

 

Texas Army National Guard Soldier Pleads Guilty to Defrauding the U.S.

To Date, 23 Individuals Have Pleaded Guilty in Ongoing Corruption Investigation

A soldier in the Texas National Guard pleaded guilty today for his role in a bribery and fraud scheme that caused more than $30,000 in losses to the U.S. National Guard Bureau, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas.

Sergeant First Class Zaunmine O. Duncan, 38, formerly of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery and one count of aggravated identity theft.  The case against Duncan arises from an investigation involving allegations that former and current military recruiters and U.S. soldiers in the San Antonio and Houston areas engaged in a wide-ranging corruption scheme to illegally obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses.   To date, the investigation has led to charges against 25 individuals, 23 of whom have pleaded guilty.

According to court documents, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. (Docupak), to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP).   The G-RAP was a recruiting program that offered monetary incentives to soldiers of the Army National Guard who referred others to join the Army National Guard.   Through this program, a participating soldier could receive bonus payments for referring another individual to join the Army National Guard.   Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account.   To participate in the program, soldiers were required to create online recruiting assistant accounts.

Duncan admitted that between approximately February 2008 and August 2010, while he was a recruiter for the National Guard, he obtained the names and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers and provided them to recruiting assistants, including co-conspirators Elisha Ceja, Annika Chambers, Kimberly Hartgraves and Lashae Hawkins, so that these recruiting assistants could use the information to obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses by falsely claiming that they were responsible for referring these potential soldiers to join the Army National Guard, when they were not.   In exchange for the information, Duncan admitted that he personally received a total of at least approximately $24,500 in payments from Ceja, Chambers, Hartgraves and Hawkins.

Duncan is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 28, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal in Houston.

Co-conspirators Ceja, Chambers, Hartgraves and Hawkins have all pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery in connection to this scheme.   Hartgraves is scheduled to be sentenced on June 24, 2014.   Ceja, Chambers and Hawkins are each scheduled to be sentenced on June 26, 2014.   All of these sentencing hearings are set before U.S. District Judge Rosenthal in Houston.

The cases are being investigated by special agents from the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of Army CID’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.   This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne, Heidi Boutros Gesch and Mark J. Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearson of the Southern District of Texas.