Skip to comments.Chesapeake contractor gets prison for scheme [Navy sealift command contractor -- bribery]
Posted on 06/24/2014 2:46:07 AM PDT by markomalley
As head of a Chesapeake defense contracting firm, Roderic Smith thought he had to "pay to play." He thought bribery was all part of the government contracting game.
"The pattern and amounts of payments were very formulaic and routine," his lawyers said in a court filing. The scheme "was a scheduled system to provide continuous access to compete and win contracts."
Smith would learn that this was not routine, but when he tried to get out, he was extorted by a co-defendant to stay in. It went on for more than eight years before federal authorities stopped it.
Smith, 50, admitted that what he did was wrong and on Monday was sentenced to four years in federal prison.
"I wish I made the right decision so none of us would be here today," Smith said to U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan Jr., as Smith's family looked on.
The scheme began in 2005, shortly after Smith and a business partner, Dwayne Hardman, formed a Chesapeake company called Mid-Atlantic Engineering Technical Services, which specialized in telecommunications work.
The government says Smith and Hardman "masterminded" the bribery scheme when they approached two high-level contracting specialists with the Navy's Military Sealift Command, Kenny Toy and Scott Miserendino, looking for work.
Well, being as virtually the entire government is a criminal organization, maybe this guy really, honestly thought that bribery was the normal method of doing business in Washington. So, this guy goes to the clink, while the remainder of the vermin in government, are still walking the street.
Essentially, this is how it works.
At an arranged event ending in a bar with lots of background noise the company VP or CEO, whoever has the say in these things sits beside the Colonel or General who makes the buy decision. The decision is weeks away.
CEO: “We’ve decided our company really needs a top level executive with military experience.”
Colonel: “What position’s that?”
CEO: “We haven’t decided on the actual title yet, probably VP of Marketing.”
Colonel: (Nods knowingly.)
CEO: “He’s going to have that corner office on the fourth floor. The one we used as a conference room for the PDR.”
Colonel: (Laughs.) “Lucky him.”
CEO: “I don’t suppose you can recommend somebody?”
Colonel: (Purses lips, gives it consideration.) “How senior?”
CEO: “Somebody with PM experience. A big project like this FUKTAXS.”
Colonel: “I’ll give it some thought.”
CEO: “When do you retire?”
Colonel: “Oh, about a year after FUKTAXS gets underway.”
CEO: “That’s roughly the time frame we’re discussing. Oh, look, there’s Charlie.” (Turns to Colonel and grasps hand.) “I have to run Ben. It’s always a pleasure working with you.” (Significant look, firm handshake.)
If the Colonel accepts he’ll return the look and handshake. Even if he doesn’t accept and he picks their product he’ll likely become a “consultant.”
Now, there are laws to stop this. But they’re easily circumvented. In one instance my company put the Colonel in a nice office having nothing to do with the project he’d run while in the military. But if they needed to make a phone call they’d have him come in and schmooze his way past the phone personnel and then he’d turn the phone over to the company and excuse himself. So, did he work on the same project he’d managed? Not technically as his charge numbers never reflected it. But did he make it “work” for the company? Yes. (This example is from the 1980’s. My more recent one is from 1996.)
Back in the early 1980s, I tried to do some government contracting and was tolld explicitly by a govt. contracting specialist how to pay to play. I did not pay and did not get any contracts. Later, as a government employee, my bosses pressured me to facilitate off contract work for a contractor which I declined to do. Some one was getting a serious kickback but all I got was harassed.
Smith should have known it’s a crime to bribe federal officials if Obama’s crew doesn’t get their piece of the action.
What happened to the people they were bribing?
Geee now, WHY would the guy EVER think such a thing??
It sounds pretty routine, to me.
MEBBIE HE DIDN’T BRIBE THE RIGHT PEEEPLE??? (Party?)
Colonels and Generals make very few contracting decisions these days. That is all done by government bureaucrats, contracting civilians who usually know next to nothing about the technical aspects of the work and have no stake in the work being done right. They are rewarded for saving the government money, so their decision is almost always in favor of the cheapest bid. The cheapest bid may be declared the winner, but often it costs the government more money as the cheapest bidder proves incapable of doing the work. Either they get paid to fix it, or the government turns to someone else to redo it.
The system is completely broken, even when no corruption and bribery is in play.