Former Navy Range Manager Sentenced to 18 Months for Accepting Illegal Gratuities
RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that on Friday, August 19, 2016, in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced HARRY C. MANN, 80, of Manns Harbor, North Carolina, to an 18-month term of imprisonment, ordered him to pay $149,999 in restitution to the United States Defense Logistics Agency, and imposed a $75,000 fine. On October 28, 2015, MANN pled guilty to a Criminal Information charging him with one count of accepting illegal gratuities.
According to the United States Attorney’s factual proffer at the plea hearing, MANN, had been employed by the Navy at the range southwest of Manteo, since 1968. The range provides air warfare training support to the Navy and the Marine Corps. Aviators practice dropping inert bombs and firing live rounds of ammunition at practice targets. As range manager, MANN’S official duties included constructing and maintaining the targets. Between January 2005 and May 2011, MANN requisitioned approximately 16 million dollars in excess government property, which included many types of functional heavy equipment, like trucks, excavators, bulldozers, cranes, trailers, and metal connex boxes. He obtained the property from the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO), which was created by the Department of Defense to centralize the disposal of excess property for better accountability and to reutilize military property within the Department of Defense. If the Department of Defense no longer has use for the property, excess material may be used for emergency management in the United States and humanitarian aid worldwide. The Department of Defense could also sell excess property to the public.
MANN, however, without proper authorization, sold DRMO acquired property to local metal scrappers. These men paid MANN a percentage of the proceeds they received for scrapping numerous pieces of heavy equipment and aluminum expedition runway matting. In total, these men state they paid MANN approximately $175,000 in kickbacks. MANN, according to the government’s proffer, demanded that these men pay him in cash when they were alone so others could not witness the payments. One such cash payment of $16,300 was paid to MANN at his residence on May 18, 2011. MANN told the local scrapper to put the envelope of cash in a flower pot.
The investigation of this case was jointly conducted by the Navy Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), and the Defense Logistics Agency, Office of the Inspector General. The Navy was first alerted of the criminal activity by inspectors from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles after witnessing the transportation of heavy pieces of equipment in the Edenton area. Assistant United States Attorney Susan B. Menzer represented the government.