Former Department of Defense Employee Sentenced to Prison for Taking $99,000 in Bribes
Defendant Worked in Afghanistan Supporting U.S. Military Effort
ATLANTA, GA - DESI DEANDRE WADE, 40, of Climax, Georgia, was sentenced today to federal prison for using his position as a Defense Department official to solicit and receive nearly $100,000 in bribes from a military contractor based in Afghanistan.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Bribery costs our taxpayers countless millions every year. When a corrupt contractor like this defendant demands a bribe, he builds that cost into the bid -- meaning that, in the end, the taxpayer bears the expense of the corrupt contractor’s greed. Rooting out this type of corruption overseas is a difficult task; the investigative agencies involved in this case should be proud of their agents’ work.”
Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Today's sentencing will provide the defendant with much time to reflect on his criminal actions and hopefully serve as a deterrent to others. The FBI considers public corruption matters such as this as its number one criminal priority and asks that anyone with information regarding public corruption to contact their nearest FBI field office.”
Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, Southeast Field Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, said, “DCIS continues to aggressively investigate public corruption and fraud involving Department of Defense contracting in contingency military operations. These joint investigations with our partners in the International Contract Corruption Task Force are a highly effective tool in the Government's efforts to bring to justice those who violate the law. This sentence will help deter others who would consider betraying the public trust.”
WADE was sentenced by District Judge Willis B. Hunt to 1 year, 8 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. WADE was also ordered to pay a fine of $4,000. WADE pleaded guilty before Judge Hunt on December 21, 2011.
According to United States Attorney Yates and information in the public record: WADE was a U.S. Department of Defense employee assigned to Kabul, Afghanistan, as the Chief of Fire and Emergency Services. In mid-July 2011, Defense Criminal Investigative Services (DCIS) in Kabul received information that WADE was using his position to improperly direct Department of Defense (“DoD”) contracts to certain bidders in return for personal gain. Specifically, it was alleged that WADE influenced an Afghan-based contractor to make bribe payments to him in return for guarantees of continued work.
In July 2011, while en route to a dinner engagement in Kabul, WADE proposed to a confidential source (“CS”) that he would provide information that would insure the awarding of certain DoD contracts to the CS’s company, in exchange for WADE receiving five percent of each contract’s profit. WADE told the CS that he wanted the first payment to be based on a current repair/maintenance contract modification submitted by the CS’s company. The CS and WADE ultimately agreed that WADE would receive $4,000 for ensuring that the CS’s company obtained the contract modification.
In mid-August 2011, WADE accepted the $4,000 bribe (paid in U.S. currency supplied by DCIS agents) that WADE and the CS had previously discussed. WADE then advised the CS that during the review of a second DoD contract, valued at approximately $4.5 million, and on which the CS’s company was bidding, DoD contracting officials determined that the contract was going to be re-bid due to a change in work requirements. WADE told the CS that he would get the figures from the other bidders and provide them to the CS to insure that the CS’s company would be the low bidder and ultimately get the contract. The CS and WADE then agreed that the payment for steering this contract to the CS’s company would be approximately $125,000. The CS and WADE agreed to meet again in Atlanta during the week of August 22, 2011, where they would both be attending the Fire Rescue International Conference.
On August 23, 2011, the CS, now in Atlanta and working at the direction of the FBI, met with WADE. During their meeting, WADE and the CS reviewed the estimated profit margin for the CS’s company on the contract WADE and the CS had discussed back in Kabul. Based on the figures WADE and the CS discussed, WADE determined that he wanted $110,000 for the awarding of the contract to the CS’s company. WADE reiterated that he would disclose to the CS the competing companies’ bids to help the CS draft a winning bid.
The next day, the CS called WADE and counter-offered WADE’s $110,000 bribe figure with $95,000. WADE agreed and again stated he could guarantee that the CS’s company would get the contract for $95,000. That evening, the CS and WADE met in the CS’s hotel room in Atlanta. During this meeting, the CS provided and WADE accepted $95,000 in cash. WADE counted the bundles of money before he put them in his backpack. WADE then declared that the CS’s company would receive the contract and that in the future he intended to alternate the awarding of contracts between the CS’s company and a competitor. Just after WADE left the CS’s hotel room, he was arrested by FBI agents. The agents recovered a backpack from WADE containing $95,000 in cash.
After his arrest, WADE admitted to having solicited and received two bribes from the CS, one for $4,000, paid in Afghanistan, and the other for $95,000, paid here in Atlanta. He further admitted that he requested the bribe payments in exchange for directing DoD contracts to the CS’s company.
This case is part of an ongoing effort by the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service to investigate and bring forward for prosecution those individuals engaging in the very costly endeavor of corruption and fraud involving government funds intended for critical military and other efforts around the world.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), with significant support from the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigative Division (CID).
Assistant United States Attorney Robert McBurney prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney's Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.