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.

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.

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.