A U.S. Army contracting official pleaded guilty today to bribery and unlawful salary supplementation in connection with two schemes to solicit more than $17,000 in bribes and other payments from an Egyptian businessman in Kuwait, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia.
William Rondell Collins, 46, of Bartlett, Tenn., pleaded guilty today before Judge Liam O’Grady in U.S. District Court in Virginia to one count of bribery and one count of salary supplementation. Collins was originally charged in an indictment filed on Feb. 18, 2010. Collins’ sentencing is set for July 16, 2010.
According to court documents, Collins was employed by the U.S. Army Area Support Group-Kuwait (ASG-KU). ASG-KU is responsible for maintaining Camp Arifjan, a U.S. military installation providing support for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations in the Southwest Asian Theater. As part of those responsibilities, ASG-KU maintains an off-post housing office, located in downtown Kuwait City, which procures, leases and supervises off-post housing for government employees and military service members stationed at Camp Arifjan. According to court records, Collins worked in ASG-KU’s off-post housing office as a housing specialist responsible for supervising private contractors and procuring off-post apartment rentals.
In his guilty plea, Collins admitted that between July and December 2009 he solicited more than $11,000 in bribes from an Egyptian businessman in exchange for submitting an inflated off-post apartment lease for approval. Collins also admitted that between July and December 2009 he received at least $5,600 from the Egyptian businessman as compensation for Collins’s services in connection with a fixed-price U.S. government contract awarded to the Egyptian businessman’s company. The government contract was for maintenance services for off-post housing managed by Collins and the ASG-KU off-post housing office.
At sentencing, Collins faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve A. Linick, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and Fraud Section Trial Attorneys James J. Graham and Ryan S. Faulconer. The investigation is being conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the FBI, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division, and members of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force (NPFTF) and the International Contract Corruption Task Force (ICCTF).
The NPFTF, 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. The ICCTF is a joint law enforcement agency task force that seeks to detect, investigate, and dismantle corruption and contract fraud resulting from U.S. Overseas Contingency Operations worldwide, including in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.