On November 10, the Department of Justice announced that a former Army civilian employee had pled guilty and been sentenced in connection with a kickback scheme involving contracts for work to be performed at an Army base in Kuwait. Ephraim Garcia was employed by the U.S. Army’s Directorate of Public Works and was involved in the contracting for work at Camp Arifjan. Garcia admitted to conspiring with the former general manager and co-owner of Gulf Link Venture Co., a contracting company based in Kuwait.
Specifically, Garcia admitted that the two conspired to steer Army contracts to Gulf Link. Olive Garden apparently played a starring role in the scheme. During a 2015 meeting at an Olive Garden in Kuwait, Garcia and his co-conspirator offered an employee of the primary contractor for services on the Army base cash in exchange for his help getting subcontracts awarded to Gulf Link. The employee of the primary contractor immediately reported the scheme to authorities. While Garcia was indicted and charged, his co-conspirator remains at large.
The investigation was conducted by the Department of Justice, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Major Procurement Fraud Unit, and the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service. This demonstrates the variety of government agencies that investigate and prosecute claims of fraud against the federal government. This is the second high-profile prosecution involving defense contracting in the past month following the October indictment of the CEO of a Navy contractor for alleged bribery, fraud, and money laundering.
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection with white-collar criminal investigations, False Claims Act investigations, and qui tam litigation. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.