Former U.S. Army Captain Sentenced In Oklahoma City To 23 Months In Prison For Conspiracy To Accept Illegal Gratuities
WASHINGTON – A former U.S. Army Captain was sentenced today in Oklahoma City to serve 23 months in prison for conspiracy to accept thousands of dollars in gratuities from contractors during his deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma Sanford C. Coats.
Sean Patrick O'Brien, 38, of Lawton, Okla., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot in the Western District of Oklahoma. In addition to his prison term, O'Brien was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $37,500 in restitution to the United States.
O'Brien pleaded guilty on Nov. 9, 2012, to a criminal information charging him with two counts of conspiracy to accept illegal gratuities.
According to court documents, O'Brien, formerly a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, assisted in the contracting process of U.S. government funds, and was therefore considered a public official. It is a violation of federal law for officers to accept gratuities from contractors dependent upon them for contracts.
According to court documents, from mid-2008 through January 2009, O'Brien, with the assistance of two alleged co-conspirators, unlawfully sought, received and accepted illegal gratuities for helping Iraqi contractors in connection with U.S. government. O'Brien accepted approximately $37,500 in cash payments and jewelry while stationed in Iraq, which he has repatriated to the United States. One of the alleged co-conspirators also offered O'Brien a vacation to a private island.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott E. Williams of the Western District of Oklahoma and by Special Trial Attorney Mark Grider of the Justice Department Criminal Division's Fraud Section, on detail from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). The case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Major Procurement Fraud Unit of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and SIGIR.