FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - April 25, 2011
MARINE MAJOR SENTENCED FOR RECEIVING ILLEGAL GRATUITIES
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today United States District Judge James C. Dever III, sentenced RICHARD JOSEPH HARRINGTON, 38,to 12 months’ and one day imprisonment followed by one year supervised release.
A Criminal Information was filed on September 3, 2010. On October 18, 2010, HARRINGTON pled guilty to demanding, seeking, and receiving gratuities, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 201(c)(1)(B).
According to statements made in Court, from January, 2005, through December, 2005, HARRINGTON, a Major in the United States Marine Corps, was deployed to Camp Fallujah, Iraq, where he served as a contracting officer representative. In that capacity, he acted as the liaison between contractors and the contracting office – inspecting and accepting productions and monitoring their performance to ensure compliance with the contracts.
In April, 2009, an investigation was initiated, during which law enforcement determined that HARRINGTON had wrongfully solicited and accepted gratuities from a contractor while performing his duties as the contracting officer representative on a $2.2 million gym equipment contract with Al Jazaer Group. Three-fourths of the way through the contract, in November, 2005, HARRINGTON traveled to Dubai, UAE on official government orders for the purpose of conducting market research involving the procurement of non-tactical vehicles of the U.S. Marine Corps. Before leaving for the trip, HARRINGTON told the principal point of contact/corporate representative for Al Jazaer that he wanted to get two Rolex watches. The corporate representative secured the watches and arranged for a third party to give them to HARRINGTON while in Dubai.
During the trip, HARRINGTON was unofficially accompanied by a representative of AVA International Corporation who paid for the majority of HARRINGTON’s official expenses to include his flight, hotel, and transportation. The representative also purchased a Persian rug for HARRINGTON. HARRINGTON subsequently filed a travel reimbursement request claiming $10,225.81 in expenses and received full reimbursement from the U.S. government.
In late November, 2005, HARRINGTON received a Rolex watch valued at $7,000 from the representative of another corporation interested in future contracts involving non-tactical vehicles. HARRINGTON also asked the Al Jazaer Group representative for another Rolex watch and $35,000 in cash. The representative agreed to get him both.
On November 30, 2005, Al Jazaer Group submitted an invoice for the remaining 25% of the contract. HARRINGTON signed off on the requisite documents. Shortly after Al Jazaer Group received payment, the representative gave $30,000 to HARRINGTON. When HARRINGTON asked about the other $5,000, the representative later gave him an additional $5,000, along with the previously requested Rolex watch.
In December, 2005, HARRINGTON shipped the $35,000 in a trunk to his residence in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and brought the watches home with him. He did not declare either the currency or the watches on the customs forms.
HARRINGTON later used the gifts of cash to purchase a car, pay off another car loan and buy another Rolex watch upon his return to North Carolina.
In or about April, 2006, HARRINGTON e-mailed the Al Jazaer Group representative and asked for the Persian silk rug to be mailed to his father in Florida. In November, 2006, he asked the representative to send him an Omega watch valued at $5,900. The representative complied with both requests.
After HARRINGTON returned from his deployment, the contractor asked for HARRINGTON’s assistance in getting 30 shipping containers, valued at $90,000, returned to his company, which were being held by the U.S. Marine Corps. HARRINGTON contacted officials at Camp Fallujah to intervene in the dispute over the ownership of the containers and helped Al Jazear get them.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. Assistant United States Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan represented the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.