Alabama Jury Convicts Couple of Bribery at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait

$27M+ in restitution ordered while potentially decades in prison face couple at sentencing.

According to DoJ, “Eddie and Eurica Pressley were found guilty yesterday of one count of bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, eight counts of honest services fraud, one count of money laundering conspiracy and 11 counts of engaging in monetary transactions with criminal proceeds.” Prior to the Pressleys’ conviction 14 others were convicted or pleaded guilty to related bribery schemes at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. FraudBlawg has previously reported on the wide-ranging bribery probe, here.

“The Pressleys are the latest in a line of 16 defendants to be convicted at trial or plead guilty for the bribery scheme at Camp Arifjan,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Eddie Pressley recruited his wife to join him in an audacious plan to take bribes in exchange for official contracting action on behalf of the U.S. Army, and together they accepted nearly $3 million in illegal payments. They hid their criminal proceeds in off-shore bank accounts and spent their gains on lavish personal items.

Trial testimony in Decatur, Alabama demonstrated, according to a release by DoJ, that Eddie Presley — an army contracting officer — started relatively small: first demanding a $50,000 bribe in order to award contracts for the supply of bottle water and other things. But soon thereafter, Presley upped the ante, says DoJ, demanding payments as high as $1.6 million and enlisting others, including his wife, in the scheme.

“Eddie and Eurica Pressley each face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for bribery,” according to DoJ, plus “five years in prison for conspiracy, 20 years in prison for each of the eight counts of honest services fraud, 20 years in prison for money laundering conspiracy and 15 years in prison for each of the counts of engaging in monetary transactions with criminal proceeds.” The couple will be sentenced June 29, 2011, and have already agreed to forfeit over $27 million.

If you have credible, first-hand knowledge of defense contracting fraud, you may be entitled to a substantial award up to 25% (and under certain conditions as much as 30%) of the damages, which can be as much as three times the amount of the fraud plus penalties. To report defense contracting fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.