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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 25, 2018

Retired Army Colonel and Former Government Contractor Sentenced To Prison for Role in Bribery Scheme at Fort Gordon

AUGUSTA, GA: Calvin Devear Lawyer, 60, a retired Colonel in the United States Army, and Dwayne Oswald Fulton, 58, a former employee of a defense contracting firm, were sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen, Jr., to 60 months’ imprisonment each for their roles in a bribery and kickback scheme. Both of the Defendants reside in Augusta, Georgia.

According to the evidence presented during their guilty plea and sentencing hearings, Fulton and Lawyer also made false representations to the United States Army and the Small Business Administration (“SBA”), which resulted in Lawyer’s company, known as CREC group, to be awarded 8(a) status under the SBA’s business development program. After fraudulently obtaining that status, beginning in 2008 and lasting almost a decade, Lawyer, Fulton and others conspired to pay cash bribes to coconspirator Anthony Roper, who was then an active duty Colonel in the United States Army, in in exchange for Roper steering the award of over $20 million in U. S. Army contracts to Lawyer and others.  Further, when law enforcement caught on to their scheme, Fulton, Lawyer and others conspired to obstruct justice by creating false and fraudulent documents as part of an effort to cover up Lawyer’s bribe payments to Roper. 

In addition to a sentencing of 60 months’ imprisonment, Lawyer and Fulton were also sentenced to serve a term of 3 years of supervised release.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Lawyer was also sentenced to pay a $100,000 fine, and Fulton was sentenced to pay a $50,000 fine.  Lawyer has already returned over $5 million to American taxpayers.  The Court orally approved an order of forfeiture against Fulton totaling $1,273,440.00.

United States Attorney Bobby L. Christine stated, “As a result of dramatic efforts by law enforcement and superb leadership at Fort Gordon, Lawyer and Fulton are now held accountable. To all would be fraudsters who think bribery in government contracting a get rich scheme, let these prison sentences be a lamp unto their feet.”

“These sentencings send a powerful message that fraud has no place in government contracting,” said Frank Robey, Director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command's Major Procurement Fraud Unit. “As evidenced in this case, fraud victimizes not only the government but the individuals involved as well. I hope that today's sentence sends a strong message that we will bring all of our resources to bear in order to protect the U.S. government.”

“These sentencings should serve as a stern warning to public officials and contractors doing business with the Department of Defense - the Defense Criminal Investigative Service will relentlessly pursue and bring to justice those who engage in bribery, corruption, and other illegal acts. These defendants deliberately manipulated the DOD procurement process to divert and steal precious taxpayer dollars for their own personal gain, and will now face the consequences. DCIS will continue to work with our investigative partners to protect the integrity of DOD programs that provide critical products and services for our Warfighters,” said Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, Southeast Field Office.

“Corruption and willful misrepresentation of business relationships are egregious actions and bear significant consequence,” said SBA OIG’s Eastern Region Special Agent-in Charge Kevin Kupperbusch.  “The conspiracy engaged in by the defendants, deprived legitimate disadvantaged companies of federal contracting opportunities.  I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their leadership and dedication throughout this investigation.”

The joint strike force that led to these convictions and Lawyer’s settlement involved agents, investigators, and auditors from the Department of Justice, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Army Criminal Investigation Command (Major Procurement Fraud Unit), and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General.  The case was investigated by Special Agent Preston T. Johnson of the U. S. Army, Criminal Investigations Division; Special Agent Randall J. Temples of the U. S. Department of Defense, Criminal Investigative Service; and, Special Agent Bryan M. Cofer of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General.

For any questions, please contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (912) 652-4422.

Updated May 29, 2018