Private Contractor Pleads Guilty to Bribing Former U.S. Postal Service Contracting Official
Greenbelt, Maryland – Barbara Murphy, 52, of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today to bribing a former contracting officer with the U.S. Postal Service in exchange for favorable treatment in connection with the awarding of contracts to deliver the mail.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Special Agent in Charge Paul Bowman of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.
According to a factual stipulation filed with the court, Murphy was the sole owner of ER&R Transportation and MC&G Trucking LLC, which she used to bid for and perform on transportation contracts with USPS. Murphy admitted that from January 2011 to July 2012, she bribed Gregory Cooper, a former USPS contracting officer representative. These bribes included cash paid directly into Cooper’s bank accounts, automobile loan payments, college tuition for Cooper’s daughter, five cell phone bill payments, an airline ticket and fitness equipment, Murphy admitted.
Murphy admitted that she gave all of these benefits in exchange for Cooper’s favorable treatment of her companies when contracting opportunities with the USPS arose, in violation of Cooper’s lawful duty to the USPS. Specifically, Cooper recommended to his superiors that 10 USPS contracts on which Murphy bid during the relevant time period be awarded to Murphy’s companies, she admitted. Additionally, Murphy admitted that Cooper provided her with advice on how to address specific issues that arose from her contract performance and drafted documents that Murphy provided to the USPS.
Murphy faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for bribing a public official in order to influence the official’s performance of his lawful duties. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for June 13, 2016.
On November 15, 2015, Gregory Cooper, 60, of Glenn Dale, Maryland, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for receiving bribes in connection with the awarding of mail delivery contracts. Judge Hazel also entered an order that Cooper forfeit $25,931.76.
U.S. Attorney Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Caldwell commended the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General for its work in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David I. Salem and Trial Attorneys Mark Cipolletti and Monique Abrishami of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.