Former US Army National Guard Captain Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Receiving Bribes at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
WASHINGTON – A former captain in the U.S. Army National Guard was sentenced today in federal court in Chicago to 15 months in prison for receiving bribes from military contractors in return for the award of Department of Defense (DOD) contracts during his deployment to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.
John Mihalczo, 47, of Homosassa, Fla., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the Northern District of Illinois. In addition to his prison term, Mihalczo was sentenced to one year of supervised release and was ordered to pay $115,000 in restitution to the Department of Defense.
Mihalczo pleaded guilty in June 2009 to a criminal information charging him with three counts of bribery. According to the information and other documents filed in the case, Mihalczo was deployed to Bagram Airfield from March 2003 until March 2004. Mihalczo was, among other things, the motor pool officer, who controlled a large fleet of leased vehicles, as well as a contracting officer’s representative, who oversaw the delivery of various goods at Bagram Airfield, including concrete barriers.
While serving in Afghanistan, Mihalczo accepted approximately $35,000 in cash and money orders from two different military contractors in return for exercising his influence in the award of DOD contracts. Mihalczo also participated in another scheme with another military contractor, in which Mihalczo fraudulently verified the delivery of concrete barriers that were never delivered to Bagram Airfield. As part of this scheme, Mihalczo and the military contractor split $80,000 in overpayments made by DOD. In total, the loss to the United States from these offenses was at least as much as $115,000. Mihalczo is the ninth defendant sentenced in this investigation. Nine additional defendants remain to be sentenced.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Mark W. Pletcher of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section , and investigated by the Army Criminal Investigations Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of the Air Force, Office of Special Investigations, with assistance from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.