Private Contractor Sentenced for Bribing a U.S. Postal Service Contracting Official
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Barbara Murphy, age 52, of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, today to 10 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for bribing a contracting officer with the U.S. Postal Service in exchange for favorable treatment in connection with the awarding of contracts to deliver mail. Judge Hazel ordered Murphy to begin serving her sentence today, and to forfeit $17,920.31.
The sentence 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 L. 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 the U.S. Postal Service. Murphy admitted that from January 2011 to July 2012, she bribed Gregory Cooper, a U.S. Postal Service 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 that she provided these benefits in exchange for Cooper’s favorable treatment of her companies on U.S. Postal Service contracts. Specifically, Cooper recommended to his superiors that 10 contracts on which Murphy bid be awarded to Murphy’s companies. 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 U.S. Postal Service.
Gregory Cooper, age 60, of Glenn Dale, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to his participation in the bribe scheme and was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Judge Hazel also ordered Cooper to 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 was 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.