Army National Guard Official Pleads Guilty to Accepting $30,000 Bribe
WASHINGTON—An Army National Guard official pleaded guilty today for accepting a $30,000 bribe in exchange for steering a $3.6 million contract to a retired sergeant major of the Minnesota Army National Guard and his consulting company. Today’s guilty plea is the eighth in connection with an investigation into corruption within the National Guard Bureau related to the awarding of millions of dollars of Army National Guard marketing, retention and recruitment contracts.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge Andrew McCabe of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office and Director Frank Robey of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit (Army-CID) made the announcement.
Jason Rappoccio, 39, of Hampton, South Carolina, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady of the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of bribery. Rappoccio was indicted on Sept. 25, 2014, and will be sentenced on May 22, 2015.
According to plea documents, Rappoccio, who was an active duty sergeant first class in the Army National Guard, admitted to accepting a $30,000 bribe from Timothy Bebus, a retired sergeant major of the Minnesota Army National Guard and owner of Mil-Team Consulting and Solutions LLC (Mil-Team). In exchange, Rappoccio agreed to recommend the award of a $3.6 million contract to Mil-Team and to steer the contract to a Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) certified company, chosen by Bebus, that would sub-contract the work to Mil-Team.
Rappoccio admitted that he received the $30,000 bribe in installments to conceal the payment. Bebus gave $6,000 in cash directly to Rappoccio at a meeting in Arlington, Virginia. The remaining $24,000 was paid in a cashier’s check in the name of Rappoccio’s wife.
Rappoccio also admitted that days after receiving the $30,000 bribe, he solicited and received airline tickets for two of his family members from Bebus. Three months later, Rappoccio also received NFL tickets worth $1,328 from another co-conspirator. At the time that he accepted these additional benefits, Rappoccio agreed to steer an additional $4 million contract to Bebus and his company.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with assistance from DCIS’s Mid-Atlantic Field Office and Army-CID’s Expeditionary Fraud Resident Agency’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Alison L. Anderson of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Fahey of the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa Seifan and Martin Coffey of the Eastern District of New York.