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Press Release

Fort Polk employee pleads guilty to demanding thousands of dollars in bribes from contractor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

LAKE CHARLES, La. Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that a civilian employee of Fort Polk pleaded guilty to demanding and receiving thousands of dollars from a contracting company performing work on Fort Polk Army installation.


Lucy Ransom, 52, of New Llano, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to one count of bribery. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell. According to the guilty plea, Ransom was a technical representative at the Fort Polk’s department of public works. From November 2013 to September 2016, Ransom extorted a furniture installation company based in New Paris, Ohio, to pay her thousands of dollars in bribes to conduct business on the Fort Polk military installation. The first instance occurred when the company contacted Ransom about bringing dumpsters to the base to dispose of project-related waste. She told the company manger that he would have to pay her $600 and use government dumpsters. After the first payment, Ransom demanded more money from the manager in exchange for her cooperation.


Ransom would make threats if he did not pay. For instance, she threatened to: make the company’s crew stay late by failing to secure worksites upon completion of jobs; restrict access to government buildings in which the contracting company needed to work; call the company’s general contractors to tell them that the company was performing poorly; write reports documenting poor work performance; and take steps to have the company barred from Fort Polk. On several occasions, Ransom carried out her threats until such time as the company manager paid her bribe money.


Ransom faces up to 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court set the sentencing date for September 12, 2017.


The U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 17, 2017

Financial Fraud
Public Corruption