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Press Release

Prime Contractor Employee at U.S. Military Bases Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison for $1.4 Million Fraud and Taking Kickbacks

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Pennsylvania man employed as a regional manager for a contractor involved with construction projects at Picatinny Arsenal (PICA) and at Joint Base McGuire-Dix- Lakehurst (Ft. Dix) was sentenced today to 28 months in prison for his role in a fraud scheme that caused losses of $1.4 million, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

James Conway, 48, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of accepting unlawful kickbacks. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From September 2009 to August 2015, Conway secretly owned a company called Walsh Construction Services, LLC (Walsh Construction), which purported to provide construction services. Using his position as regional manager for a construction contractor, Conway steered subcontracts to Walsh Construction for jobs at PICA and Ft. Dix. To conceal his ownership of Walsh Construction, Conway signed the subcontracts as Keith Walsh, the purported owner or vice president of Walsh Construction. There was, in fact, no person by that name who owned or was the vice president of Walsh Construction.

Conway used Walsh Construction to obtain payments from the construction contractor by submitting invoices and bills on behalf of Walsh Construction for work purportedly performed at PICA and Ft. Dix. Many of the invoices and bills included charges for work that Walsh Construction only partially did, or for work that was not performed at all by Walsh Construction, causing losses of $1.4 million.

Conway also accepted kickbacks totaling $180,345, from four subcontractors who served as subcontractors to the contractor on various construction projects at PICA and Ft. Dix knowing that the subcontractors expected, in return, to obtain favorable treatment from Conway.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Conway to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $1.4 million in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie; the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Leigh-Alistair Barzey; and the U.S. Army, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, Criminal Investigation Command, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Larry Scott Moreland, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty sentencing.   

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Leslie Faye Schwartz and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark McCarren of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

Updated September 26, 2019

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 19-286