News and Press Releases

Defendant Accepted Truck From Contractor During Contract Negotiations

December 13, 2007

PAUL JOHN SHORB, 51, of Olympia, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to Accepting an Illegal Gratuity. SHORB faces up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced by the Honorable Judge Franklin D. Burgess. SHORB is being prosecuted as part of the U.S. Department of Justice emphasis on procurement fraud.

According to the plea agreement, for the last 23 years, SHORB has worked as a civilian employee at Fort Lewis. Since 1989, SHORB worked for the Department of Information Management, called “DOIM,” as Chief of Plans & Programs Division. Between 1996, and 2002, SHORB served as the supervisor of the contracting officer for ACS Systems & Engineering Inc. (ACS), of Virginia Beach, Virginia. In 1999, SHORB was reprimanded by the Army for renting a house to an ACS employee at the same time he was supervising the ACS contract.

In the statement of facts in the plea agreement, SHORB admits that in 2001, he learned that ACS was going to dispose of trucks used on Fort Lewis as part of the ACS work. SHORB asked an ACS employee to tell the company president that he would like one of the trucks. SHORB was offered a four-year-old truck valued at over $4,600. SHORB accepted the truck as a gift, and then asked the company to provide a bill of sale falsely claiming that SHORB had paid $700 for the truck. This was to assist SHORB in licensing the truck. At the same time he was asking ACS for the truck, SHORB was participating in a decision to award ACS another contract for work at Fort Lewis. SHORB failed to disclose that he had received the truck because it would have disqualified him from making any decisions on the ACS contract. SHORB failed to disclose the truck on required disclosure forms, and then lied to various investigators, claiming that he had purchased the truck on eBay for $700. SHORB later falsely claimed the truck had been put up for sale to anyone for $700. SHORB continued to lie to investigators as late as 2006, claiming he had paid $700 for the truck, despite the fact that none of his bank accounts, nor the records of ACS, show any payment for the truck.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the Procurement Fraud Task Force at the United States Attorney’s Office. This local task force is the result of the National Procurement Fraud Initiative announced by the Department Justice in October, 2006, and is designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in contracting activity for national security and other government programs. As part of this initiative, the Deputy Attorney General has created the National Procurement Fraud Task Force, which is chaired by Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher. The Procurement Fraud Task Force includes the United States Attorney’s Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General Community, and a number of other law enforcement agencies. This case, as well as others brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrate the Department of Justice’s commitment to helping ensure the integrity of the government procurement process.

The case was investigated by the General Services Administration, Office of the Inspector General, and the Army Criminal Investigative Division, Major Procurement Fraud Unit. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Reese Jennings.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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