FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
November 29, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWO PLEAD GUILTY IN BRIBERY AND PROCUREMENT FRAUD SCHEME
AT ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND
Merchandise Worth Over $288,000 Diverted for Their Personal Use
BALTIMORE, Maryland - Douglas Atwell, age 51, of Port Deposit, Maryland pleaded guilty today to bribery in relation to a scheme to defraud the government, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Co-defendant Wayne Silbersack, age 65, of Forest Hill, Maryland pleaded guilty to the same charge on Monday.
United States Attorney Rod Rosentein said, "It is disgraceful that a company salesman conspired with a government employee to engage in this scheme to defraud the taxpayers and line their own pockets."
According to the statements of facts presented at the defendants’ guilty pleas, from 2003 to 2004 Atwell, a civilian employee of the U.S. Army at the Aberdeen Test Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, placed orders from Silbersack, a commissioned salesman for Lawson Products, for equipment totaling over $429,500 which were paid by the Army. Silbersack issued Lawson invoices to the Army which inflated the prices of, and falsely described, the items ordered by Atwell in order to conceal the use of government funds to obtain items for the personal use of Atwell and other government employees. Atwell, who managed a “tool crib” at one of the Aberdeen Test Center buildings, charged the purchases to his government purchase card.
In exchange for processing invoices with inflated prices, Atwell received a Dell computer falsely described in an invoice as “electrical assortment parts LP 5002" which included a mark up from $1,973 to $2,485; a shed disguised on invoices as a “large hardware assortment” which was marked up from $2,840 to $6,521; and golf balls falsely described as a “ball bearing assortment” which were marked up from $682.50 to $1,409.
Silbersack received over $78,000 in commissions for sales to Atwell’s government credit card. Over $288,000 worth of merchandise was delivered to Wayne Silbersack’s house or picked up outside the base that cannot now be located at the Aberdeen site or otherwise accounted for.
The defendants face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for bribery. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has scheduled sentencings for February 5, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. for Silbersack and for February 6, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. for Atwell.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the investigative work performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joyce McDonald and Harry Gruber, who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedNovember 29, 2006