Manhattan Federal Jury Convicts U.S. Military Officer of Honest Services Fraud and Accepting Bribes while Stationed in Iraq
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 17, 2010|
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that BRYANT WILLIAMS was found guilty today by a Manhattan federal jury of one count of honest services mail fraud and one count of demanding and accepting bribes while he was stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. U.S. District Judge BARBARA S. JONES presided over the two-week trial. WILLIAMS, 39, faces a total maximum sentence of 35 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 18, 2011.
Manhattan U.S. ATTORNEY PREET BHARARA stated: "Bryant Williams abused his position of authority to extract bribes from military contractors and to enrich himself in the process. Today's guilty verdict sends a strong message that neither law enforcement officials nor juries will tolerate corrupt actors in our military."
According to the documents previously filed in this case and the evidence introduced at trial:
From 2005 through 2006, while stationed in Baghdad, Iraq, WILLIAMS served as a captain and procurement officer with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. In his position, WILLIAMS had the ability to purchase supplies and services that cost less than $2,500 on behalf of the U.S. Army and to participate in the solicitation of bids, assist in the selection of contractors, and oversee the administration and completion of U.S. Army contracts that were worth between $2,500 and $200,000.
The jury found that WILLIAMS unlawfully demanded and accepted payments in return for using his position to help certain contractors receive over $930,000 in U.S. government contracts. As part of this scheme, WILLIAMS forged bids on behalf of other companies, knowingly collected false and forged bids from certain contractors, and on one occasion, threatened a contractor with a firearm in the course of demanding payment of bribes.
In an attempt to conceal some of the payments he received, WILLIAMS provided a contractor with a mailing address in Iowa and directed that thousands of dollars in cash payments be sent to that address. Following WILLIAMS's directions, the contractor mailed packages containing thousands of dollars from New York and Michigan. Moreover, WILLIAMS provided another contractor with thousands of dollars in bribery proceeds to wire to another individual.
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
This case is being prosecuted by the Office's Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys LOYAAN A. EGAL and STEVE C. LEE are in charge of this prosecution.