Business Owner and Former Government Contracting Officer Representative Plead Guilty to Conspiracy and Bribery
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Jerry T. Vertefeuille, 53, of Niceville, and Christopher A. Carter, 37, of Fort Walton Beach, pleaded guilty on July 11 and June 28, respectively, to conspiracy (to commit theft of honest services and wire fraud) and bribery of a public official. Additionally, Vertefeuille pleaded guilty to obtaining and disclosing procurement information. The guilty pleas were announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Vertefeuille was a federal government contracting officer representative for the 96 Test Wing Maintenance Group (96 MXG) at Eglin Air Force Base. His duties included overseeing maintenance work and initially approving purchases and invoices.
In 2007, Vertefeuille helped Carter, as the owner of TCC Services, Unlimited, LLC, win a paint booth maintenance contract, as well as multiple contract renewals, until 2014. Vertefeuille received kickbacks in exchange for approving Carter’s fraudulent invoices and recommending the renewal of TCC’s contract. An investigation later revealed that TCC and another contractor submitted invoices for payment to the U.S. Air Force for the same work.
For the conspiracy charge, the defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison. For bribery of a public official, they face a maximum of 15 years in prison. For obtaining and disclosing procurement information, Vertefeuille also faces a maximum of 5 years in prison. The sentencing hearings are scheduled for September 26 at the U.S. Courthouse in Pensacola.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Air Force Audit Agency, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey M. Tharp.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.