Business Owner Sentenced in Bribery Scheme
NORFOLK, Va. – Michelle Adams, 44, of Virginia Beach, VA, was sentenced today in Norfolk federal court to 15 months in prison for participating in a scheme to bribe an Air Force official in exchange for his illicit assistance in awarding government contracts.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after Senior United States District Judge Jerome B. Friedman imposed the sentence. Adams previously pled guilty on December 7, 2010.
According to court documents, Michelle Adams and a co-defendant, Frankie Hand, met one another in May 2007 at Camp Taji, Iraq. Soon thereafter, Adams and Hand 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, 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 Mark Carnes, a U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant at Camp Taji 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, Mark Carnes 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 Mark Carnes approximately $50,000 in bribes. Hand, Carnes and Dunn were previously convicted for their roles in the scheme and are serving sentences of 36, 20 and 14 months, respectively.
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 prosecuted 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.justice.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.
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