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Press Release

Government Subcontractors Convicted For Bribery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that yesterday a federal jury in Anchorage convicted John Becker aka Jack Becker of bribing a public official.  On August 27, 2015, ADA Station Communication, Inc. and Herschell Becker pled guilty to bribing a public official in connection with the same investigation.  The offenses occurred in June and August 2014.

ADA Station Communication, Inc., based in Crossville, Tennessee and Herschell Becker, 48, of Grandview, Tennessee, pled guilty to three counts of bribing of a public official.  Jack Becker, 53, of Crossville, Tennessee was found guilty of two counts of bribing of a public official.

ADA Station Communication, Inc. is a telecommunications company based in Crossville, Tennessee, which specializes in providing turnkey structured cabling infrastructures including analysis, design, engineering, installation, and maintenance of voice, video and data networks.  ADA Station Communication has performed work on behalf of both federal and commercial entities.

Jeff Becker founded the company in 1995.  Herschell Becker has been the Vice President of ADA Station Communication since 1995.  Jack Becker has been an employee of ADA Station Communication since approximately 2003.  Jeff Becker, Herschell Becker, and Jack Becker are brothers.

ADA Station Communication was awarded subcontracts to install and upgrade fiber optic cables on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) during 2014 and 2015.  During the summer of 2014, ADA Station Communication was installing fiber optic cables on JBER under five contracts.  On June 17, 2014, Herschell Becker and Jack Becker (hereinafter “the Beckers”) met with a United States Air Force Cable/Antenna Work Leader (hereinafter “Air Force official”) to complete quality assurance inspections on two of the five contracted project locations.  During the inspections, the Air Force official discovered numerous discrepancies, informed the Beckers, and requested that the Beckers address and fix the issues.

Evidence at trial showed that On June 18, 2014, Herschell Becker and Jack Becker offered $10,000 to the Air Force official to accept the work previously identified as deficient that they performed as subcontractors installing fiber optic cables on JBER.  During this meeting, the Beckers told the Air Force official they could “pad his pockets” and “the less people that know the better”.  The Beckers knew that the Air Force official would make the final decision on whether to accept the work as complete and wanted the Air Force official to overlook the discrepancies.  The Beckers told the Air Force official it would cost them $60,000 to fix the discrepancies and that they would pay $10,000 to the Air Force official if he would approve the work without the discrepancies being fixed.  The Air Force official declined the $10,000.  The Beckers again offered to pay the Air Force official $10,000.

On August 22, 2014, Herschell Becker and Jack Becker met with the Air Force official.  Unbeknowst to the Beckers, the Air Force official had reported to law enforcement the Beckers’ offer of $10,000, and was now acting at the direction of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.  During the August 22, 2014 meeting, the Beckers and the Air Force official discussed the prior offer to bribe the Air Force official.  Herschell Becker acknowledged that it was a big risk to offer to bribe the Air Force official, but that he would do it again because it cost him $60,000 to repair the problems and he would have much rather have given the Air Force official $10,000.  The Beckers also mentioned that they were bidding on others jobs in Alaska and would like to win the business.  The Beckers and the Air Force official also discussed the current status of the project and the failed test results on the fiber optic cables installed by ADA Station Communication.  Herschell Becker acknowledged that they would not be able to pass the testing requirement at the 1490 nm wavelength.  Herschell Becker and Jack Becker then described the additional costs they would incur if they had to remain in Alaska for a longer period of time should the Air Force official require them to try to fix the cables.  Herschell Becker then offered the Air Force official $5,000 cash to accept ADA Station Communication’s deficient fiber optic installation work as is.  The Air Force official, as directed by law enforcement, agreed.  Herschell Becker directed the Air Force official to send him his address for payment.     

On August 27, 2014, Jack Becker spoke with the Air Force official regarding the logistics of the $5,000 payment.  Referring to the August 22 conversation, Jack Becker said that Herschell Becker would like to get the Air Force official’s address.  Jack Becker indicated that ADA Station Communication needed the Air Force official to accept the work they did.  Jack Becker also told the Air Force official that he knew there was more work coming up next summer and that ADA Station Communication was going to try to bid that too, so things could get better down the road.  Later that day, on August 27, 2014, Herschell Becker told the Air Force official that he would get the full payment the next day in person and that if the Air Force official could help ADA Station Communication win the bid for the upcoming work next year, it would be well worth his while.

On August 28, 2014, Herschell Becker texted the Air Force official that Jack Becker would be “getting with him today”, and again said that if the Air Force official could put in a good word for ADA Station Communication to the review team for next year’s work, it would be well worth his while.    

On August 28, 2014, an ADA Station Communication check signed by ADA Station Communication’s Accounting Manager in the amount of $6,500 was negotiated for petty cash funds.  The ADA Station Communication Accounting Manager then wired $5,000 cash via MoneyGram from a Wal-Mart in Crossville, Tennessee to Jack Becker in Anchorage, Alaska.  Jack Becker picked up the $5,000 cash from a Wal-Mart in Anchorage.  Jack Becker then concealed the Wal-Mart envelope of $5,000 cash in a set of large papers.  Jack Becker hand delivered the $5,000 cash to the Air Force official that afternoon.

Sentencing has been scheduled for November 6, 2015 and November 10, 2015, in Anchorage.  The maximum penalty for Herschell Becker and Jack Becker for each count of conviction is up to 15 years in prison, three years’ supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.  The maximum penalty for ADA Station Communication, Inc. is up to five years’ probation, and a fine of up to the greater of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.  In addition, the United States will be seeking restitution on behalf of the United States Air Force in the approximate amount of $345,000.00.

The investigation of this case began when the public official reported to law enforcement that the subcontractors had offered him $10,000 to look the other way on faulty work and accept their deficient work on behalf of the United States Air Force.  This case was investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne Lamoureux.

Updated November 6, 2015

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