Former Major Gets 12 Years for Corruption

A former U.S. Army contracting official has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for his participation in a bribery and money laundering scheme related to bribes paid for contracts awarded in support of the Iraq war.

Eddie Pressley, 41, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term. The court in Birmingham, Alabama, said it would also require Pressley to forfeit $21 million as well as real estate and several automobiles.

“Mr. Pressley participated in a wide-ranging scheme to steer U.S. Army contracts to particular providers in exchange for personal, illegal profit,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Taking in nearly $3 million, he enlisted his wife to help him conceal the nature of his bribes and created phony paperwork to keep the scheme going. This sentence sends the message loud and clear that we will not tolerate corruption of any kind, and are determined to hold corrupt officials accountable.”

“This contracting scheme was driven by greed and is in no way representative of the vast majority of public officials and government contractors who work hard to serve our military,” said James McJunkin, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “The FBI will continue to investigate contracting fraud which deprives the U.S. government of taxpayer dollars, regardless of where it occurs.”

Pressley, a former army Major, and his wife Eurica Pressley, were found guilty at trial on March 1, 2011, 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.

Bank statements and wire transfer reports demonstrated that, in total, the Pressleys received approximately $2.9 million in bribe payments between 2004 and 2006, and used the money to purchase real estate, expensive automobiles and home decorating services, among other things.

A sentencing date for Eurica Pressley has not yet been scheduled by the court.

The case against the Pressleys arose from a corruption probe focusing on Camp Arifjan, a U.S. military base in Kuwait. As a result of this investigation, 17 individuals, including the Pressleys, have pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial for their roles in the scheme.

(Sources: IEWY, Wall Street Journal)

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