Former U.S. Military Contractor Pleads Guilty to Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to Defense Department Contracts in Support of Iraqi War
Defendant to Forfeit $15,757,000 to the U.S. Government
Former military contractor Terry Hall, 43, of Snellville, Ga., pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to pay more than $3 million in bribes to U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at Camp Arifjan, an Army base in Kuwait, and to money laundering conspiracy, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.
Terry Hall was indicted on May 6, 2009, along with U.S. Army Major Eddie Pressley, 39, and his wife, Eurica Pressley, 37, both of Harvest, Ala. According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Hall’s companies received approximately $21 million between 2005 and 2007 in connection with contracts his companies received. To obtain the contracting business and facilitate unlawful payments by other contractors, Hall admitted he made more than $3 million in unlawful payments and provided other valuable items and services to U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at Camp Arifjan, including U.S. Army Major Eddie Pressley, and former Majors John Cockerham, James Momon and Christopher Murray, among others.
According to court documents, Hall owned and operated several companies, including Freedom Consulting and Catering Co., (FCC) and Total Government Allegiance (TGA), which provided goods and services to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in connection with Operation Iraqi Freedom. Hall’s companies received a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) to deliver bottled water in Iraq and a contract to construct a security fence in Kuwait.
A BPA is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract by which the DoD agrees to pay a contractor a specified price for a particular good or service. Based on a BPA, the DoD is permitted to order the supplies on an as-needed basis, and the contractor is bound by the price agreed upon in the BPA. The term for this type of order by the DoD is a "call."
The case against Hall arose out of a wide-ranging investigation of corruption at the Camp Arifjan contracting office. To date, eight individuals including Hall have pleaded guilty for their roles in the bribery scheme. On Dec. 2, 2009, former Cockerham was sentenced to 210 months in prison and ordered to pay $9.6 million in restitution. According to court documents, Cockerham arranged for Hall’s companies to receive bottled water calls worth more than $2.6 million, as a result of which Hall paid Cockerham approximately $800,000.
According to court documents, Momon arranged for Hall’s companies to receive bottled water calls worth approximately $6.4 million, as a result of which Hall paid Momon more than $300,000. Momon pleaded guilty on Aug. 13, 2008, to receiving bribes from various contractors at Camp Arifjan, including Hall, and is awaiting sentencing.
Also according to court documents, Murray arranged for Hall to receive contracts to construct security fences at Camp Arifjan, as a result of which Hall paid Murray approximately $30,000. Murray pleaded guilty to receiving bribes from various contractors at Camp Arifjan, including Hall, and making a false statement. He was sentenced on Jan. 8, 2009, to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay $245,000 in restitution.
The case against Eddie Pressley and his wife, Eurica Pressley, is scheduled for trial on April 5, 2010. The indictment alleges that the Pressleys received more than $2.8 million in money and other valuable items from Hall, in exchange for Eddie Pressley’s agreement to take official actions to benefit Hall. Eurica Pressley, at her husband’s request, allegedly arranged for an entity named EGP Business Solutions Inc., (EGP) to be incorporated, opened a bank account in the name of EGP, and opened bank accounts in her name in the United States, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands, all in order to receive the bribe payments.
The charge of bribery conspiracy carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine. The money laundering conspiracy carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. According to the court documents, Hall will forfeit $15,757,000 to the U.S. government.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter C. Sprung and Edward J. Loya Jr. of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case is being investigated by special agents of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the Army Criminal Investigation Command, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI.
The National Procurement Fraud Task Force, created in October 2006 by the Department of Justice, was designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs.