WASHINGTON – Gheevarghese Pappen, a retired U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee was sentenced for soliciting and accepting nearly $50,000 in illegal gratuities, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
Pappen, 62, of Savannah, Ga., was sentenced to two years in prison, $28,900 in restitution, and one year of supervised release by Chief Judge William T. Moore in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.
Pappen previously pleaded guilty to soliciting and accepting nearly $50,000 in illegal gratuities while detailed to the U.S. Army Area Support Group, Host Nation Office at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, which supports U.S. military operations in Iraq. His official duties at Camp Arifjan included working with local companies in order to secure housing for U.S. Army military and civilian personnel stationed in Kuwait and en route to Iraq. While working in Camp Arifjan, Pappen accepted money from a Kuwaiti realtor for assisting the realtor in obtaining contracts with the U.S. Army. Pappen, ordered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to return to his domestic post in Georgia, was arrested on March 17, 2006, at the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International airport upon his return from Camp Arifjan.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Ann C. Brickley and James A. Crowell IV of the Public Integrity Section, headed by Acting Section Chief Edward C. Nucci of the Criminal Division. The case is being investigated by Army Criminal Investigation Division, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the FBI.
The National Procurement Fraud Initiative was announced by Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty 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 Fisher.