Man Sentenced for Scheme Involving U.S.-Funded Military Contracts
Two U.S. Citizens Took Bribes to Steer Contracts Meant to Aid Reconstruction in Afghanistan
A Massachusetts man was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for his role in a scheme in which he accepted bribes from an Afghan company in exchange for helping it deceive the U.S. military into awarding at least 10 contracts at inflated values.
According to court documents, Todd Coleman, 48, of South Deerfield, was an analyst at a U.S. company who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 to evaluate bids for U.S.-funded reconstruction contracts awarded by the U.S. military. At that time, Coleman and Orlando Clark, a manager of reconstruction projects at a different U.S. company who was also deployed to Afghanistan, received approximately $400,000 in bribes from an Afghan company. In return, Coleman and Clark assisted the company in obtaining millions of dollars in contracts that involved the construction of an Afghan police station and a security checkpoint for U.S. forces.
To conceal their conduct, Coleman and Clark registered fictitious companies in the State of Georgia and opened bank accounts to which bribes were sent via wire transfers from Afghanistan. Coleman and Clark also created false invoices to make it appear as though they were involved in a car-exporting business in the United Arab Emirates. In reality, Coleman and Clark used the bribe payments to enrich themselves by purchasing personal items, such as a BMW. During the scheme, Coleman and Clark also travelled to the United Arab Emirates to receive cash bribes, which they smuggled into the United States without declaring the currency.
On Jan. 4, Clark pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official and (in an unrelated scheme) 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 Stanley A. Newell of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Transnational Operations Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Peter Tolentino of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Economic Crimes Field Office made the announcement.
SIGAR, DCIS, and NCIS investigated 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 prosecuted the case.