WASHINGTON — A retired major in the U.S. Army today was sentenced to 57 months in prison for his role in a bribery scheme related to Department of Defense (DOD) contracts awarded in Kuwait, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer and Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division Christine Varney.
Christopher H. Murray, 42, a resident of Cataula, Ga., was also ordered by Judge Clay D. Land of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia - Columbus Division to pay $245,000 in restitution and to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term.
Murray pleaded guilty in January 2009 to a five-count criminal information charging him with four counts of bribery and one count of making a false statement. According to the court documents, in 2005 and 2006, then-Major Murray served as a contracting specialist in the small purchases branch of the contracting office at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. As a contracting specialist, Murray was responsible for soliciting bids for military contracts, evaluating the sufficiency of those bids, and then recommending the award of contracts to particular contractors. In this capacity, Murray solicited and received approximately $225,000 in bribes from DOD contractors in exchange for recommending the award of contracts for various goods and services.
According to court documents, Murray returned to Kuwait in fall 2006, as a contracting officer, and solicited and received another $20,000 in bribes from a DOD contractor in exchange for the award of a construction contract. When confronted with evidence of his criminal conduct, Murray made false statements to federal agents investigating the matter.
This case is being prosecuted by trial attorney Richard B. Evans of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section as well as trial attorneys Mark W. Pletcher, Emily W. Allen and Finnuala Kelleher of the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section.
The case is being investigated by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction; the Army Criminal Investigation Command, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the FBI; and the Internal Revenue Service.
The National Procurement Fraud Task Force, created in October 2006 by the Department of Justice, was designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs.
Anyone with information concerning bid rigging, bribery or other criminal conduct regarding DOD contracts is urged to call the Defense Criminal Investigative Service at 800-424-9098 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Army Criminal Investigation Division at www.cid.army.mil; or the FBI at 800-225-5324.