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Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges U.S. Army Captain with Accepting Bribes While Stationed in Iraq

LawFuel.com – 19 August, 2009 – PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, JOSEPH M. DEMAREST, JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Brigadier General RODNEY
L. JOHNSON, Commanding General of the United States Army Criminal
Investigation Command (“CID”), and SHARON E. WOODS, the Director
of the United States Department of Defense’s Defense Criminal
Investigative Service (“DCIS”), announced today that U.S. Army
Captain BRYANT WILLIAMS was charged in an Indictment for
allegedly steering more than $500,000 in U.S. Army contracts to
favored contractors in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars
in bribe payments while he was stationed in Baghdad, Iraq.

WILLIAMS, 38, of Clarksville, Tennessee, surrendered this morning
to federal authorities in Manhattan, and is expected to be
presented and arraigned later today before United States
Magistrate Judge JAMES C. FRANCIS, IV.

According to the Indictment filed in Manhattan federal
court:

From 2005 to 2006, WILLIAMS was stationed in Baghdad,
Iraq, and served as a procurement officer with the U.S. Army’s
101st Airborne Division. As a procurement officer, WILLIAMS’
duties included participating in the solicitation of bids,
assisting in the selection of contractors, and overseeing the
administration and completion of U.S. Army contracts that were
worth between $2,500 and $200,000.

WILLIAMS unlawfully demanded and accepted tens of
thousands of dollars in bribe payments in exchange for abusing
his position to steer over $500,000 in U.S. Army contracts to
favored contractors. The contracts were for a broad range of
projects, from providing the U.S. Army with copiers to building
the U.S. Army guard towers. In an attempt to conceal a portion
of the corrupt payments he received, WILLIAMS provided one
contractor with a mailing address in Iowa and directed that the
contractor send cash payments totaling $20,000 to that address.
Following WILLIAMS’ directions, the contractor mailed some of the
cash to Iowa from the Bronx, New York.

In January 2006, WILLIAMS provided two contractors with
information about a diamond ring WILLIAMS found on the Internet
that he wanted the contractors to purchase for him. WILLIAMS
told one of the contractors that the diamond ring was a gift for
his wife to commemorate their upcoming wedding anniversary.
WILLIAMS provided a website address, ring size, and ring order
number so that the contractor could purchase the ring for him.
One of the contractors, while in the United States, ultimately
ordered and paid for the diamond ring, for which WILLIAMS never
reimbursed the contractor.

The Indictment charges WILLIAMS with one count of
honest services mail fraud and one count of bribery. WILLIAMS
faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the honest
services mail fraud charge and 15 years in prison for the bribery
charge. He also faces a maximum fine of the greater of $250,000
or three times the monetary value of the payments he received, as
well as forfeiture of the proceeds of his crimes. This case has
been assigned to United States District Judge BARBARA S. JONES.
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the FBI,
CID, and DCIS.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s
Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys
LOYAAN A. EGAL and PABLO QUIÑONES are in charge of this
prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely
accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.

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