WASHINGTON—A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia on honest services fraud charges for allegedly soliciting and accepting bribes, from May 2005 to March 2006, while detailed to the U.S. Army Area Support Group, Host Nation Office in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
The three-count indictment charges Gheevarghese Pappen, 62, who currently resides in Richmond Hill, Ga. According to the indictment, while working in Camp Arifjan securing apartments for Army employees, Pappen solicited bribes from a Kuwaiti realtor in a scheme to defraud the United States and the Army of their right to honest and faithful services. Pappen allegedly recommended that the U.S. Army enter into contracts with the realtor if the realtor agreed to pay Pappen a portion of the realtor’s earnings. The indictment alleges that Pappen sent facsimile and email communications to his supervisors in Savannah, Ga. that contained proposed contracts between the Army and the realtor. The indictment charges that Pappen solicited and accepted approximately $47,000 in bribe payments.
If convicted, Pappen faces a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison and a fine of $750,000. Pappen was previously arrested pursuant to a warrant issued in the District of Columbia and was released on bond.
An indictment is merely a formal accusation. It is not proof of guilt, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
This case is being prosecuted by trial attorneys James A. Crowell IV and Ann C. Brickley of the Public Integrity Section, headed by Acting Section Chief Andrew Lourie. The investigation is being conducted by the Army Criminal Investigation Division and the Defense Criminal Investigation Service.