Department of Defense (DoD) Employee Desi Deandre Wade Charged in a Federal Criminal Complaint For Allegedly Taking a $95,000 Bribe

August 25, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 25, 2011 released the following:

“Department of Defense Employee Arrested for Taking $95,000 Bribe in Atlanta Relating to Military Contract in Afghanistan

ATLANTA— DESI DEANDRE WADE, 39, of Climax, Georgia, was arrested yesterday by FBI agents and has now been charged in a criminal complaint with bribery. WADE is expected to make an appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge 3:00 p.m. today.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “This Department of Defense employee is charged with selling his position of public trust for cash. While he was supposed to be working to support our troops, he was lining his pockets. The FBI and our partner defense agencies are to be commended for rooting out and stopping this corruption.”

Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, said, “When the integrity of the contracting process is compromised, the taxpayers bear the brunt of this monetarily and the mission overseas can be adversely impacted to say the least. The FBI aggressively seeks out those individuals who attempt to personally profit from the contracting and funding process of these many and varied critical government missions overseas.”

Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, Southeast Field Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service said, “DCIS continues to place the highest priority on ferreting out public corruption involving Department of Defense contracting in Southwest Asia military operations. These joint investigations with our partner agencies, spanning across the globe, have been highly effective in bringing wrongdoers to justice, and deterring others who would consider betraying the public trust.”

Steven Trent, Acting Deputy Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said, “SIGAR agents are proud to have participated in this investigation, which underscores the cooperation among U.S. law enforcement agencies operating in a conflict zone.”

According to United States Attorney Yates and the criminal complaint just filed in this case: WADE is currently a U.S. Department of Defense employee assigned to Kabul, Afghanistan as the chief of Fire and Emergency Services. On July 16, 2011, Defense Criminal Investigative Services (DCIS) and FBI in Kabul, Afghanistan, received information that WADE was utilizing his position as a contracting official to improperly direct Department of Defense (“DoD”) contracts to certain bidders in return for personal gain. Specifically, WADE influenced an Afghan-based contractor to make bribe payments to him in return for guarantees of continued work by way of future contracts in Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan, WADE allegedly solicited and received a $4,000 bribe in exchange for the awarding of a repair/maintenance contract modification submitted by the Afghan-based contractor.

WADE then allegedly proposed steering a subsequent, much larger contract to the company in exchange for a certain percentage of the value of the contract. The bribe, as calculated by WADE, would amount to over $100,000. WADE promised to obtain the quotes from other bidders and provide them to the company to insure that the company would be the low bidder and ultimately get the contract.

Several weeks later, WADE traveled to Atlanta to attend the August 22-26 Fire Rescue International Conference. While in Atlanta, WADE allegedly reiterated that he wanted $110,000 for the awarding of the new contract to the company. WADE confirmed that he would disclose the competing companies’ bids.

On August 24, 2011, at approximately 5:45 p.m., WADE accepted $95,000 in cash in exchange for his promise to direct the contract to the company. WADE counted the bundles of money before he put them in his backpack. WADE was subsequently arrested by federal agents and his backpack was found to contain $95,000 in cash.

This case is part of an ongoing effort by the FBI, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), as well as the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit to investigate and bring forward for prosecution those individuals engaging in the very costly endeavor of corruption and fraud involving U.S. government funds intended for critical military and other efforts around the world.

This case is being investigated by special agents of the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), with support from the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert McBurney is prosecuting the case.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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U.S. Army Sergeant and Associate Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Alleged Bribery Scheme Involving Contracts at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait

June 21, 2011

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on June 21, 2011 released the following press release:

“WASHINGTON – An 11-count indictment unsealed today in federal court in Wheeling, W.V., charges an Army sergeant first class and his associate for their alleged roles in a bribery and money laundering scheme at Camp Arifjan, a U.S. military base in Kuwait, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II for the Northern District of West Virginia.

The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of West Virginia on June 8, 2011, charges Sergeant First Class Richard Evick, 41, of Parsons, W.V., with receiving more than $170,000 in bribes from two firms that had contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in Kuwait. The indictment also charges Evick and his associate, Crystal Martin, 48, of Pontiac, Mich., with laundering the bribe money through bank accounts in Kuwait and the United States. Evick and Martin were arrested today by FBI agents. Martin made her initial appearance today in Detroit before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub of the Eastern District of Michigan. Evick is expected to make his initial appearance tomorrow in Raleigh, N.C., before U.S. Magistrate Judge James E. Gates of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The indictment alleges that Evick, a senior procurement non-commissioned officer who served at Camp Arifjan from February 2005 to December 2006, along with former Majors James Momon and Christopher Murray, awarded Army contracting business and improperly disclosed contracting information to two firms that were seeking contracts from the U.S. military. According to the indictment, as a result of the actions taken by Evick, Momon and Murray, these firms received nearly $25 million from contracts to deliver bottled water and other commodities to U.S. military bases in Iraq and Kuwait, as well as to paint and clean DoD facilities in Kuwait. In exchange, Evick, Momon and Murray allegedly received cash, airplane tickets, hotel accommodations, and the ability to conceal large amounts of cash in a hidden safe located in the villa of Wajdi Rezik Birjas, a DoD contract employee who worked in the host nation affairs office at Camp Arifjan.

The indictment also alleges that Evick entrusted his bribe money to Martin, a former Army master sergeant, who from October 2005 to December 2008, operated a concession to sell clothing and other items at various U.S. military bases in Kuwait and maintained bank accounts in Kuwait and the United States. The indictment alleges that Martin arranged to transfer the bribe money from Kuwait to the United States and into the possession of Evick, his wife and his girlfriend. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Evick and Martin assisted Momon’s efforts to retrieve between $200,000 and $250,000 of Momon’s bribe money from Birjas and to transfer that money from Kuwait to the United States.

Evick is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, two substantive bribery counts, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, six substantive money laundering counts and one count of obstructing an agency proceeding. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison on the bribery conspiracy charge, 15 years in prison for each of the bribery counts, 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy count and each of the substantive money laundering counts and five years in prison on the obstruction charge.

Martin is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and four substantive money laundering counts. She faces up to 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy count and each of the substantive money laundering counts. Evick and Martin also face fines and a term of supervised release, if convicted. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of any property or money involved in the alleged offenses.

Momon, Murray and Birjas have pleaded guilty to crimes relating to their activities at Campr Arifjan and are awaiting sentencing.

As a result of this investigation, 17 individuals have pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial for their roles in the corruption at Camp Arifjan, and four others, including Evick and Martin, are awaiting trial.

An indictment is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter C. Sprung and Timothy J. Kelly of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McWilliams of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. The ongoing investigation is being handled by the Army Criminal Investigation Division, Defense Criminal Investigation Service, FBI and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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