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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Three Enter Guilty Pleas in Shaw Air Force Base Scheme

Contact Person: DeWayne Pearson (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina ----United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that James Autry “Audi” Clemens, age 60 of Johnston, SC, Larry Baker, age 64 of Cameron, SC and Steven Crandall, age 59 of Salisbury, NC were sentenced for their connection to a scheme to defraud Shaw Air Force Base through various construction contracts. Clemens was also sentenced for an additional count of money laundering. According to facts presented during the guilty plea hearing, the men inflated costs of construction projects by submitting invoices that falsely claimed that additional workers and resources were used to complete construction jobs on the base. The men would then split the fraudulent payments between themselves. Clemens received a sentence of 48 months of incarceration, Baker received a sentence of 15 months and Crandall received 5 months.

“These conspirators took funds away from the warfighter,” stated Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Southeast Field Office.  “The DCIS remains committed to investigating and bringing to justice those individuals who attempt to manipulate the procurement process for their own gain.”

“Mr. Clemens guilty plea is significant in sending a message that while fraud involving government contracts may be initially lucrative, nothing lasts forever and the consequences are serious.” “We and our law enforcement partners will work continuously to uncover this type of criminal activity.” Said Thomas J. Holloman III, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney T. DeWayne Pearson of the Columbia office.

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Updated February 12, 2015