business owner and former naval officer plead guilty to bribery scheme
NORFOLK, Va. – Frankie J. Hand, Jr., age 48, of Chesapeake, Va. and Michelle L. Adams, age 44, of Miami, Fla., pleaded guilty today in Norfolk federal court to paying bribes to obtain U.S. government contracts for work in Iraq.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after Hand and Adams entered guilty pleas before United States Magistrate Judge Tommy Miller. Adams and Hand each face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when they are sentenced on March 7 and 14, 2011, respectively, by United States District Judge Jerome B. Friedman.
According to court documents, Adams and Hand met one another in May 2007 at Camp Taji, Iraq, and entered into a business and personal relationship. Hand, then a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, corruptly agreed to assist Adams and her business partner, Peter Dunn (who previously entered a guilty plea on November 9, 2010), obtain U.S. government contracts for work in Iraq. In exchange for Hand’s assistance, Adams and Dunn made him a “silent partner” in their companies. Thereafter, Hand, Adams, and Dunn corruptly agreed to pay an enlisted U.S. Air Force contracting official, who worked closely with Hand, in exchange for his assistance in getting contracts awarded to their companies. In furtherance of this illegal agreement, in August and September 2007, this Air Force official helped to steer two government contracts for work on Camp Taji to businesses run by Adams and Dunn, and their silent partner, Hand. After the United States paid $757,525 for the work on these two contracts, Adams, Dunn, and Hand jointly paid approximately $50,000 in bribes to the Air Force official.
This case was investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Office of Inspector General, United States Army Criminal Investigation Division, United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Defense Contract Audit Agency, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Robert Krask is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.