FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
FORMER ARMY AND AIR FORCE EXCHANGE SERVICE PROJECT MANAGER AND PRIVATE CONTRACTOR PLEAD GUILTY TO HONEST SERVICES WIRE FRAUD
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division announced today that James F. Cullefer and Raymond P. Cox have pleaded guilty to one count each of honest services wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1346.
Cullefer, 39, a former employee of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), also pleaded guilty to failing to report income on his 2000 tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1). The pleas were entered today before the Honorable Clay D. Land at U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
AAFES is a U.S. instrumentality operating under the auspices of the Department of Defense. It provides merchandise and services to military personnel on Army and Air Force installations in the United States and abroad by operating and maintaining retail stores, fast food restaurants, movie theaters, and similar businesses. Cullefer was an AAFES draftsman and project manager based in Fort Benning, Georgia, who selected, supervised and paid outside contractors for construction and repair work on AAFES installations in the eastern United States and abroad. Cox, 40, operated a general construction business and several related businesses in Dothan, Alabama.
According to plea documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, between 1999 and 2001, Cox’s businesses were paid approximately $8 million for numerous AAFES construction projects, many of which were supervised and paid for by Cullefer. During this same time, Cullefer privately solicited and received approximately $78,000 in checks, wire transfers and third-party payments from Cox. Both defendants acknowledged that these payments were made to influence the performance of Cullefer’s official acts for AAFES, namely, the selection and payment of Cox’s business for AAFES work.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Matthew C. Solomon and Senior Trial Attorney John W. Scott of the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, headed by Section Chief Noel L. Hillman, and investigated by the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.