The Justice Department recently announced that a former agent for a large national trucking company has pled guilty to paying bribes totaling at least $120,000 over a six-year period from 2006-2012 to two officials in the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Traffic Office at the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) in Albany, Georgia. According to the Press Release, the two DLA officials previously each pleaded guilty to one count of bribery of a public official, and were sentenced to 10 years and seven years in prison respectively, for their roles in the conspiracy.
The former agent, Ivan Dwight Brannan, of Jupiter, Florida, admitted that he, and David Nelson, a truck driver acting under his direction, paid at least $120,000 in cash and other items of value as bribes to Mitchell Potts, a former DLA Traffic Office supervisor at MCLB-Albany, and Jeffrey Philpot, another official in the same DLA Traffic Office. These bribes were paid over a six-year period, from 2006-2012, to ensure that Brannan’s trucking company was awarded millions of dollars in lucrative freight-hauling contracts at MCLB-Albany.
Nelson previously similarly pled guilty to one count of bribery of a public official. Both he and Brannan are awaiting sentencing.
These pleas, as well as the lengthy sentences given to the two involved public officials, further establish that crime does not pay, and put some teeth behind the usual caveats that contractors need to ensure that their employees and agents act ethically in dealing with the government, and that government officials need to perform their duties faithfully. You cannot offer, and a government official cannot demand or accept, any favors, benefits, gifts or gratuities from you. If you believe you are being asked to engage in this kind of activity, report it.
Note also, considering the 2006-12 time period involved here, that just because the wheels of justice grind slowly does not mean that miscreants will get away with it, and the price, when caught, is high.
Hopewell Darneille is responsible for the contents of this Short Take.
© Jackson Kelly PLLC 2016