WASHINGTON – Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today that a Department of the Army official and an Alabama-based contractor were sentenced to federal prison in connection with charges arising from participation in an honest services wire fraud scheme and a related obstruction of justice.
Jeffrey H. Stayton, 57, of Spotsylvania, Va., the former Chief of the Aviation Division for the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William S. Duffey of the Northern District of Georgia, sitting by designation, to serve 63 months imprisonment, three years supervised release, and a fine of $61,071.75.
William C. Childree, 69, of Enterprise, Ala., the sole owner and operator of Maverick Aviation, Inc. (Maverick), was sentenced by Judge Duffey to serve 27 months in imprisonment, three years supervised release, and a fine of $61,071.75. Both men are to report to prison on April 15, 2008.
Stayton and Childtree were convicted on December 11, 2007, following a week-long jury trial in Montgomery, Al., the jury heard evidence that in or about November 2001, the government selected Maverick to procure and deliver two helicopters for use by the U.S. government. The contract was worth approximately $4.7 million. Stayton, in his capacity as an ATEC official, took actions that favored Maverick’s selection as the eventual contract recipient and misled government officials about Maverick’s performance under the contract. Thereafter, Childree used a portion of the contract funds to pay off the entire mortgage on his personal residence in Enterprise, Ala., and secretly wired a third party $61,071.75 from a Maverick bank account to satisfy the entire amount on a mortgage on Stayton’s personal residence in Spotsylvania, Va., Stayton failed to disclose his solicitation or receipt of this payment to other ATEC or Army personnel, or in his required annual financial disclosure statements.
The jury also heard evidence that on June 29, 2005, Stayton appeared before the grand jury and falsely testified that Childree’s $61,071.75 payment was a loan. In addition to the underlying honest services wire fraud charges against both defendants, the jury also convicted Stayton of a single count of obstruction of justice based on this false testimony.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Shaun M. Palmer, Matthew L. Stennes and Eric G. Olshan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, headed by William M. Welch II, and by Mariclaire Rourke of the National Security Division’s Counterespionage Section, headed by John J. Dion. The case was investigated by the Department of the Army, Criminal Investigation Command, with additional support provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office.