Man Pleads Guilty to Bribery and Visa Fraud Conspiracies
A Georgia man pleaded guilty today for his roles in two bribery conspiracies — one related to U.S. government reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan and one related to a U.S. Department of State visa fraud scheme.
According to court documents, Orlando Clark, 57, of Smyrna, managed reconstruction projects in Afghanistan on behalf of a U.S. company. In 2011 and 2012, Clark conspired with an analyst at a different U.S. company, who evaluated bids for U.S.-funded reconstruction contracts that were awarded by the U.S. military, to receive approximately $400,000 in bribes from an Afghan company in return for assisting it in obtaining millions of dollars in contracts. To conceal his criminal conduct, Clark registered fictitious companies and bank accounts in Georgia – to which he sent bribe payments via wire transfers from Afghanistan – and created invoices to make it appear as though he was involved in a car-exporting business. In reality, Clark used the bribe payments funneled through these accounts to enrich himself and purchase personal items, including two BMWs.
In addition, between 2015 and 2020, Clark also received bribes to sign false letters of recommendation for visas authorized for Afghan nationals who worked as translators with U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Clark signed over 10 letters in which he falsely claimed to have supervised the applicants and in which he stated, without any factual basis, that he had no reason to believe that they posed a threat to U.S. national security.
Clark pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official and conspiracy to commit visa fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each charge. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia; Inspector General John F. Sopko of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR); Special Agent in Charge Peter Tolentino of the Economic Crimes Field Office of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS); Special Agent in Charge Stanley A. Newell of the Transnational Operations Field Office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS); and Supervisory Special Agent Gregory Batman, Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division of the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service (DOS-DSS) made the announcement.
SIGAR, NCIS, DCIS, and DOS-DSS are investigating the case.
Trial Attorney Matt Kahn of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Phillips for the Northern District of Georgia are prosecuting the case.