Oklahoma Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Solicit Kickbacks in Connection with Government Contract in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON — An Oklahoma man pleaded guilty today for his role in a scheme to solicit kickbacks in connection with the award of a private security services subcontract to protect U.S. government personnel and contractors in Afghanistan, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, Assistant Attorney General Christine A. Varney of the Antitrust Division and U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Bryan Lee Burrows, 42, of Wagoner, Okla., pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of conspiracy to solicit a kickback.
According to court documents, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the principal federal U.S. agency that extends assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty and engaging in democratic reforms. The agency works to support long-term and equitable economic growth and advance U.S. foreign policy objectives.
In August 2006, USAID awarded a $1.4 billion contract known as the Afghanistan Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (the AIRP contract). The AIRP contract required the award of numerous subcontracts, including for the provision of security services to protect AIRP workers. According to court documents, from approximately February 2009 through May 2009, Burrows was employed in Kabul, Afghanistan, by Civilian Police International, a Virginia-based company that provides law enforcement training internationally. Burrows admitted that he conspired with others to solicit kickbacks from private security vendors in return for favorable treatment for those potential bidders in connection with the award of one or more subcontracts. According to court documents, the subcontracts provided for private security services to protect USAID personnel and contractors in Afghanistan operating under the AIRP contract.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled by the court.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Bradford Geyer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, Trial Attorneys Kimberly A. Justice and Joseph Muoio of the Antitrust Division’s Philadelphia Field Office and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy D. Belevetz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. The investigation is being conducted by USAID’s Office of Inspector General as well as members of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force and the International Contract Corruption Task Force (ICCTF).
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. The ICCTF is a joint law enforcement agency task force that seeks to detect, investigate and dismantle corruption and contract fraud resulting from U.S. Overseas Contingency Operations, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.