WASHINGTON – A retired U.S. military official pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges relating to Department of Defense (DOD) contracts in Afghanistan, the Department of Justice announced today.
According to the plea agreement, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago today, First Lieutenant Robert Moore (Ret.) pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery charges. Moore admitted to accepting money from contractors in exchange for the award of DOD contracts at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan (Bagram). Moore also admitted to falsifying the number of bunkers and barriers delivered at Bagram, causing DOD to pay for bunkers and barriers that were never received. Bunkers and barriers are cement structures used at Bagram for force protection and perimeter walls. Additionally, Moore pleaded guilty to falsifying damage reports for leased vehicles at Bagram, causing DOD to pay for repairs not needed or performed. Moore has agreed to pay $120,000 in restitution and to cooperate with the Department’s investigation.
"Conduct that defrauds the United States and depletes funds intended for the war effort in Afghanistan or elsewhere will not be tolerated," said Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department’s Antitrust Division.
Moore’s plea follows the return of a related superseding indictment on June 19, 2009, and the entry of guilty pleas by two of the individuals charged in the superseding indictment. Christopher P. West, a U.S. Army Major from Chicago, and Patrick W. Boyd, a U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant from Rockledge. Fla., pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges relating to DOD contracts at Bagram. The superseding indictment also charged four individuals – Assad John Ramin, Tahir Ramin, Noor Alam and Abdul Qudoos Bakhshi – and four companies – AZ Corporation, Top’s Construction, Northern Reconstruction and Naweed Bakhshi Company – with various counts of bribery, fraud and conspiracy relating to DOD contracts at Bagram. Also on June 19, 2009, Charles Patton, a U.S. Army Sergeant from Chicago, pleaded guilty to charges of receiving stolen property.
Moore is charged with conspiracy, a violation that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Under the statute, the 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. Moore is also charged with bribery, a violation that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or up to three times the amount or value of the bribe, whichever is greater.
This case is part of an ongoing investigation being prosecuted by the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section (NCES), with assistance from the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs. The investigation of this case is being conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (Army CID), and Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Additional assistance was provided by Customs and Border Protection, Field Operations in Chicago; and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division.
Today’s charges are an example of the Department of Justice’s commitment to protect U.S. taxpayers from procurement fraud through the National Procurement Fraud Task Force. The National Procurement Fraud Initiative, announced in October 2006, is designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in contracting activity for national security and other government programs.
Anyone with information concerning illegal conduct in the procurement of goods or services involving DOD contracts in Iraq or Afghanistan is urged to contact NCES at 202-307-6694 or firstname.lastname@example.org; DCIS at 800-424-9098 or email@example.com; or Army CID at www.cid.army.mil.