Government Contracts & Investigations

Bribery, Gratuities, and Kickbacks, Oh My!

By | December 13, 2019

On December 12, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a former civilian employee of the U.S. Army is being prosecuted by the DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The former employee, Ephraim Garcia, worked in the Army’s Directorate of Public Works, where his job duties related to the solicitation, award and management of government contracts for certain projects at Camp Arifjan, an Army base in Kuwait.

The charges against Mr. Garcia stem from his alleged part in steering Army work to a certain subcontractor in a way that lined his pockets. Allegedly, around September of 2015, Mr. Garcia offered to pay an employee of a prime contractor to award contracts to a particular subcontractor, Gulf Link Venture Company (Gulf Link). That subcontractor would in turn artificially inflate the price of its bids such that Mr. Garcia, the subcontractor, and the prime contractor’s employee could split the proceeds.

Mr. Garcia is being charged with one count of offering a bribe, one count of receiving illegal gratuities and one count of offering kickbacks related to his actions and the over $170,000 in wire transfers to him or members of his immediate family from Gulf Link’s owner and other individuals associated with Gulf Link, as well as from another subcontractor that was bidding on work under the prime contract.

On December 10, 2019, Mr. Garcia was arrested in the Philippines, where he had been living for the past few years. Three charges are being brought against the former Army employee: offering a bribe, receiving illegal gratuities, and offering kickbacks.

 

Contact Judith Araujo for more information.