Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Government Official Sentenced to Two Years Prison for Accepting Bribe

An Air Force Master Sergeant has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison and ordered to pay $126 thousand in restitution for accepting bribes. That seems like a pretty stiff sentence compared to similar cases involving much larger sums of money.

The MSgt. was in charge of procuring specialized equipment in support of C-130 Special Operations Aircraft. The owner of Trans Global Storage Solutions approached the MSgt and offered him 45 percent of the profits from contract proceeds if the MSgt ensured that Trans Global won the contract.

The MSgt then issued a request to purchase the specialized equipment and because he was the requester, he was chosen to evaluate each proposal for technical acceptance. That, in itself, is poor internal controls.

After evaluating the various proposals, the MSgt determined that Trans Global was the only proposal technically acceptable for the Government requirement. That would be another red flag - it is rare that the Government, having performed market research, ends up with just one qualified bidder.

Trans Global was awarded the contract and the MSgt got his payday - until he was caught. Then, at least 10 years of service was flushed and he'll spend the next two years with lots of time on his hands to lament.

How was he caught. Well, like most Department of Justice press releases, they don't say. The case was investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (part of the DoD Office of Inspector General) but we don't know from the information provided how the matter came to the investigators attention.

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