News

NSA Employee Pleads Guilty in Corruption Scheme


More than $110,000 Paid to Official to Defraud NSA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - Robert Barry Adcock, age 44, of Parkville, Maryland pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to obtain payments in return for taking actions as a National Security Agency (NSA) official and to making false statements to conceal the illegal payments from the NSA.

“Adam Wayne Berg, Jeffrey Mark Harmon and Berg Bros Recycling, Inc. paid more than $110,000 to NSA employee Robert Barry Adcock,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “In return, the conspirators stole valuable recyclable metals from NSA without paying the full value.”

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; George Ellard, Inspector General of the National Security Agency; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office.

According to Adcock’s guilty plea, on December 2, 2003, Adcock, an NSA employee, was designated as the NSA contracting officer’s representative responsible for a waste removal contract, including removal of recyclable metals. Adam Berg was a corporate officer and son of the owner, and Jeffrey Mark Harmon the president, of Berg Bros Recycling, located at 1401 West Hamburg Street in Baltimore, which received, processed and sold metal recyclables. Berg handled the finances and Harmon was responsible for finding customers for Berg Bros, individuals or companies who brought metals to Berg Bros and to whom Berg Bros paid a fee for their metals.

According to the plea, NSA stored copper communications cable, steel couplers for cable connections, discarded metal racks for large computer servers and other equipment in five covered units built on an Army storage area at Fort Meade. When the Army told NSA that it wanted the area back, Adcock directed that the metal recyclables be taken to Berg Recycling. From March 30, 2004 to October 2004, NSA’s storage area was emptied and load after load of metal recyclables was taken to Berg Bros, where the Berg Bros scale operator recorded NSA as the customer on each ticket, yet the payments for these loads were secretly diverted to Adcock. To do so, Adcock asked his father to open a bank account for SRK Development, a company Adcock’s father had formed, but which was dormant in 2004. Berg Bros then opened an account on its books for SRK. The payments for all of the loads from clearing the Ft. Meade storage area were paid to SRK, either directly, or after February 2005, by having the checks made out to cash, but with SRK noted on the face of the check as the customer. Berg Bros would have an employee cash the check and return the cash to Jeff Harmon or Adam Berg. Adcock would drive to Berg Bros, typically on Friday afternoon, and pick up his cash from Harmon or Berg. Berg Bros made 39 payments to SRK for loads from NSA. In all, Berg Bros Recycling, at the direction of Harmon and Berg, made 39 payments to Adcock, totaling $104,989.04, between May 2004 and March 2006.

In April 2006, Harmon changed employment to a new metal recycling company and paid Adcock an additional $4,930.70 for loads from NSA.

According to the plea agreement, Adcock received over $110,000 in illicit payments from Berg Bros Recycling and Harmon’s new employer, which Adcock failed to report on his financial disclosure form to NSA.

Adcock faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison each for the conspiracy and the false statement counts. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for April 26, 2011.

Adam Wayne Berg, age 48, of Stevenson, Maryland pleaded guilty to making an illicit payment to a government official; and Jeffrey Mark Harmon, age 44, of Windsor Mill, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make illicit payments to a government official. They are scheduled to be sentenced on April 12 and April 13, 2011, 2011, respectively.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Joyce K. McDonald and Mark Crooks, who are prosecuting the case.

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