The Department of Justice (DoJ) issues many press releases every week and some of them deal with contract fraud in some fashion. It is not often that we get to find out how the fraud came to light - whether it was because of Government oversight, a tip, a whistleblower, or an honest fed. Usually, the press releases say that so-and-so has been charged or has plead guilty to this or that. Last week however, the DoJ via the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Alaska, issued a notification that was surprisingly detailed in describing how an attempted bribe of a Government official was uncovered.
A Tennessee company was awarded several subcontracts to install and upgrade fiber optic cables on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) in 2014. In June 2014, company representatives met with an Air Force official to complete quality assurance inspections on two project locations. During the inspections, the Air Force official discovered numerous discrepancies, informed the company, and requested the discrepancies be fixed.
Instead of fixing the problems, which would have cost the company $60 thousand, they offered a $10 thousand bribe to the Air Force official knowing that the Air Force official would make the final decision on whether to accept the work as complete and wanting the official to overlook the discrepancies.
The Air Force official declined the $10 thousand bribe and reported the attempt to law enforcement. When the company again offered the bribe, the Air Force official was "wired" and was meeting with the company at the direction of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). This time, the entire conversation was recorded and the rest, as they say, is history. The company's representatives plead guilty and now face significant jail time.
The investigation of this case began when the public official reported to law enforcement that the subcontractor had offered him $10 thousand to look the other way on faulty work and accept their deficient work on behalf of the Air Force.
You can read further details about this case by clicking here.