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July 10, 2015

Army National Guard Official Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison for Accepting $30,000 Bribe

An Army National Guard official was sentenced today to 42 months in prison 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.

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, Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge Andrew McCabe of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Acting Special Agent in Charge Paul Sternal 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 on Feb. 3, 2015, to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of bribery. U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady of the Eastern District of Virginia imposed the sentence and ordered Rappoccio to forfeit $31,328.

Rappoccio was an active duty sergeant first class in the Army National Guard. In connection with his guilty plea, Rappoccio 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 steer a $3.6 million contract to Mil-Team by awarding the contract to a Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) certified company, chosen by Bebus, that Rappoccio understood would sub-contract a portion of the work to Mil-Team.

Rappoccio admitted that the $30,000 bribe was structured to conceal the payment. Specifically, Bebus gave $6,000 in cash directly to Rappoccio, and the remaining $24,000 was paid in a cashier’s check in the name of Rappoccio’s wife.

Rappoccio also admitted to accepting additional benefits in exchange for steering an additional $4 million contract to Mil-Team. In particular, Rappoccio solicited and received from Bebus airline tickets for two of Rappoccio’s family members. He also received NFL tickets worth over $1,300 from another co-conspirator.

In connection with this investigation into corruption within the National Guard Bureau, eight others, including Bebus, have been convicted of offenses related to the awarding of millions of dollars of Army National Guard marketing, retention and recruitment contracts. The investigation is ongoing.

The case was 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 was 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.

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