AUGUSTA, Ga: A former official at Fort Gordon has been sentenced to federal prison for lying to investigators about his disclosure of confidential information used to award competitive bids.
Vaughn Moffett, 63, of Sharpsburg, Ga., was sentenced to 20 months in prison and fined $15,000 by U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall after pleading guilty to False Statement or Representation Made to a Department or Agency of the United States, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. After completion of his sentence, Moffett will serve three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Vaughn Moffett used insider information to steer business toward a specific, corrupt vendor,” said Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine. “Moffett and the other defendants disgraced their oaths to their country, and accordingly are being held accountable for their greed.”
According to information provided in court documents and proceedings, Moffett, as deputy director of the U.S. Army Signal Network Enterprise Center (NEC) at Fort Gordon, used his access to contract bid and proposal information to assist the Communications Research, Engineering and Consultants (CREC) Group with winning a contract for upgrading the Army’s communications infrastructure at Fort Gordon in 2014. When investigators later questioned Moffett, he falsely and fraudulently denied knowing how CREC was awarded the contract.
Moffett, who retired from the Army as a major in 1996, began federal service as a civilian employee in 2005.
Other defendants in the investigation each are serving federal sentences of 60 months in prison after entering guilty pleas in the investigation of bribery, bid-rigging and Small Business Administration fraud:
- Calvin Devear Lawyer, a retired U.S. Army colonel, owned the CREC Group, which had fraudulently received Small Business Administration (SBA) status as a small, disadvantaged business;
- Anthony R. Williams, while serving as a colonel in the U.S. Army, admitted he accepted bribes to steer federal procurement contracts to the CREC Group;
- Dwayne Oswald Fulton, then an employee of a defense contractor, joined Lawyer in securing small, disadvantaged status for the CREC Group.
- Anthony Roper, a former active duty U.S. Army colonel at Fort Gordon, was a co-conspirator with Lawyer. His wife, Audra Roper, was sentenced to probation for her role in the scheme.
The cases were investigated by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Inspector General, and the United States Attorney’s Office.
“Today’s sentencing is a strong reminder that there is a price to pay for anyone who tries to defraud the government or lie to federal investigators,” said Frank Robey, director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Commands Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU). “It will not be tolerated, and we will work tirelessly with our legal and law enforcement partners to bring to justice anyone who violates the law.”
“Our office and its law enforcement partners will aggressively investigate false statements made in attempt to receive funds from SBA’s programs,” said SBA OIG’s Eastern Region Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kupperbusch. “It is unconscionable to fraudulently attempt to gain access to SBA funds for personal gain and profit. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice.”
“Government officials who use their positions for personal gain and undermine the public trust need to be held to the highest standards of justice,” said Special Agent in Charge Cynthia A. Bruce, DCIS Southeast Field Office. “The sentencing of Vaughn Moffett sends a strong message to those who seek to undermine the Department of Defense procurement process.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Lyons prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.