WASHINGTON – Gheevarghese Pappen, a retired U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee pleaded guilty today in Savannah, Ga., to soliciting and accepting nearly $50,000 in illegal gratuities, announced Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division.
Pappen, 62, of Savannah, Ga., pleaded guilty to soliciting gratuities while detailed to the U.S. Army Area Support Group, Host Nation Office at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, which supports U.S. military operations in Iraq. His official duties at Camp Arifjan included working with local companies in order to secure housing for U.S. Army military and civilian personnel stationed in Kuwait and en route to Iraq. While working in Camp Arifjan securing apartments for U.S. Army employees, Pappen accepted money from a Kuwaiti realtor for assisting the realtor in obtaining contracts with the United States Army. Pappen, ordered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to return to his domestic post in Georgia, was arrested on March 17, 2006, at the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International airport upon his return from Camp Arifjan.
Pappen faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison, a three-year term of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. He is presently released on bond.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Ann C. Brickley and James A. Crowell IV of the Public Integrity Section, headed by Acting Section Chief Edward C. Nucci of the Criminal Division.
The case is being investigated by Army Criminal Investigation Division, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the Defense Criminal Investigation Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.