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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OFFICIAL CONVICTED IN MILITARY CONTRACTOR CASE

WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A Department of Defense civilian employee at Fort Benning, Georgia has been found guilty after a seven day trial in federal court on charges related to a wire fraud scheme involving $4.1 million in contracts with the Army.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Resident Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General for Department of Defense’s Department of Criminal Investigative Service in Boston; Peter Seguin, Resident Agent in Charge of U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command’s Boston Fraud Resident Agency; and Susan Dukes, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Boston Field Division, announced today that ALLEN THROWER, 58, of Fortson, Ga., has been convicted by a federal jury on nine counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States from 2004 through February 2008 .

The evidence at trial showed that THROWER, who had responsibility for preparing purchase requests and sole source justifications for the services of commercial contractors at Fort Benning, used his official position as Chief of Quality Support Division in the Human Resources Directorate to arrange for and influence the awarding of both sole source and competitive contracts to Military Service Support, LLC (MSS) for personnel-related services. MARIE CIMINO, THROWER’s sister, was President and Chief Executive Officer of MSS, a company formed in 2004 and located at CIMINO’s single family residence in Groveland, Mass. THROWER and CIMINO concealed their familial relationship from U.S. Army contracting officials and from MSS employees in Georgia.

THROWER had a duty under law and federal ethics regulations to refrain from participating in the awarding and administration of contracts where he had a personal relationship with the contractor, and to refrain from directly or indirectly soliciting or accepting benefits or money from a party doing business with the U.S. Army. During the time in which THROWER was involved in steering the eight contracts to MSS and supervising them, THROWER received from MSS at least $20,000 in the form of checks, airline tickets, and lodging at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut.

In one instance, THROWER, who was provided a round-trip airline ticket between Atlanta and Boston by MSS, traveled to the residence of CIMINO, posed as the operations manager of MSS, and conducted a telephonic interview with an applicant in Georgia to be hired as the on-site supervisor for MSS. In another instance, THROWER sat on a source selection committee to evaluate the bids from six responsive companies, including MSS. THROWER denied to contracting officials that he had any ties or relationship with the companies who submitted bids. THROWER then recommended the selection of MSS to the contracting official, citing its past performance, even though its bid was substantially higher than the other bids. MSS was then awarded the contract valued at $683,990, with options that reached $2,234,806.

THROWER faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment on each of the wire fraud counts, a $250,000 fine and five years supervised release. He also faces a five year maximum sentence on the conspiracy count. CIMINO previously pleaded guilty to making false statements and was sentenced to two years probation.

The case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Army Criminal Investigative Command, and the Internal Revenue Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Theodore Merritt and Anthony E. Fuller of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.

 


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