Former Employee of U.S. Government Contractor in Afghanistan Pleads Guilty to Foreign Transportation of Approximately $104,000 in Stolen Money
A former employee of a U.S. government contractor in Afghanistan pleaded guilty today to foreign transportation of approximately $104,000 in stolen money. The former employee admitted stealing the money from another employee who received the money in illegal kickbacks from an Afghan subcontractor in return for that employee’s assistance in obtaining subcontracts on a U.S. government contract.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman of the Southern District of Ohio, Special Agent in Charge John Khin of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Southeast Field Office-Atlanta Resident Agency, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John F. Sopko and Director Frank Robey of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s (CID) Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU) made the announcement.
Frantz Florville, 33, of Columbus, Ohio, was charged in an information filed on April 5, in the Southern District of Ohio with one count of foreign transportation of stolen money. He pleaded guilty to the information before U.S. Chief District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. of the Southern District of Ohio, in Columbus. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.
As part of his plea, Florville admitted that he worked in Afghanistan as a project specialist for an American defense contractor in Kabul, Afghanistan (the Prime Contractor). As part of his duties, Florville worked for the Prime Contractor on an approximately $8 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.
Florville admitted that in the spring of 2016, he became suspicious that another employee of the Prime Contractor, Nebraska McAlpine, was taking illegal kickbacks from an Afghan contractor in return for McAlpine’s assistance in the Afghan contractor’s companies seeking and acquiring subcontracts under the Department of Defense contract. As a result, Florville admittedly took steps to record meetings between the Afghan contractor and McAlpine in May, June and July 2016 when those two met alone in McAlpine’s office at the secure facility in which the Prime Contractor’s employees lived. Those recordings confirmed for Florville that McAlpine was taking kickbacks from the Afghan contractor.
After the last recorded meeting and the departure of McAlpine and the Afghan contractor from McAlpine’s office, Florville admittedly went into McAlpine’s office, found a bag with $108,000 in U.S. currency in it, and, without McAlpine’s permission, took it. Florville admitted that he took the bag back to his own office, hid it and later that day took the money and hid it in his residential unit at the secure facility.
Florville further admitted that on July 16, 2016, he used $25,000 from the $108,000 stolen money to purchase nine diamonds from a jewelry shop at the secure facility. On the following day, Florville flew from Afghanistan to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For that flight, he admittedly hid about $79,000 of the stolen money in boots that he purchased and altered for that purpose. In Dubai, before boarding a flight to the Philippines on July 18, 2016, Florville admittedly transferred the money into his backpack for the second flight and took the diamonds with him on these flights. Florville admitted that thereafter, he and his wife used the cash and diamonds that he had brought from Afghanistan for their personal purposes in the Philippines, where Florville then lived.
McAlpine previously pleaded guilty in the Northern District of Georgia to seeking and receiving illegal kickbacks on a U.S. government contract. On Nov. 28, 2017, he was sentenced there to 21 months in prison.
This matter was investigated by DCIS, SIGAR and Army CID-MPFU. Trial Attorney Daniel Butler of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.