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Former military contractor pleads guilty in kickback scheme

  • Terry Hall pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy
  • Hall received $21 million from contracts with Department of Defense, prosecutors say
  • Case stemmed from "wide-ranging investigation of corruption," authorities said
  • He is eighth person to enter guilty plea in connection with scheme

(CNN) -- A former U.S. military contractor has pleaded guilty to federal charges in a kickback scheme involving Army contracting officials, the Department of Justice said.

Terry Hall, 43, of Snellville, Georgia, pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy in federal court in Birmingham, Alabama, on Wednesday, the department said in a release.

Hall ran several companies that received $21 million as part of contracts with the Department of Defense, prosecutors said.

"To obtain the contracting business and facilitate unlawful payments by other contractors, Hall admitted he made more than $3 million in unlawful payments and provided other valuable items and services to U.S. Army contracting officials" stationed at Camp Arifjan, an Army base in Kuwait, authorities said.

The case against Hall stemmed from "a wide-ranging investigation of corruption at the Camp Arifjan contracting office," authorities said. Hall is the eighth person to enter a guilty plea in connection with the bribery scheme.

Hall's companies, including Freedom Consulting and Catering Co. and Total Government Allegiance, provided goods and services to the Department of Defense in connection with the Iraq war, according to court documents. The companies received a "blanket purchase agreement" to deliver bottled water in Iraq and a contract to build a security fence in Kuwait, authorities said.

Such an agreement is "an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract by which the DoD agrees to pay a contractor a specified price for a particular good or service," according to the Department of Justice. "Based on a (blanket purchase agreement), the DoD is permitted to order the supplies on an as-needed basis, and the contractor is bound by the price agreed upon in the (agreement)."

Hall faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the money laundering conspiracy charge and a maximum of five years on the bribery conspiracy charge, plus a $250,000 fine on each charge. In addition, Hall agreed to forfeit some $15.7 million to the U.S. government. It was unclear when he is scheduled to be sentenced.

Others who have pleaded guilty in the probe include former Maj. James Momon, who according to court documents arranged for Hall's companies to receive $6.4 million worth of orders for bottled water. As a result, Hall paid Momon more than $300,000, the Department of Justice said. Momon pleaded guilty in August 2008 to receiving bribes from contractors at the base and is awaiting sentencing.

Another is former Maj. John Cockerham, who arranged for Hall's companies to receive $2.6 million in bottled water orders. Hall paid Cockerham about $800,000, authorities said. He was sentenced in December to more than 17 years in prison and ordered to pay $9.6 million in restitution.

Hall was indicted in May along with Army Maj. Eddie Pressley and Pressley's wife, Eurica. The indictment against the Pressleys says they received more than $2.8 million in cash and other items from Hall "in exchange for Eddie Pressley's agreement to take official actions to benefit Hall," the Department of Justice said.

Eurica Pressley allegedly arranged for a company named EGP Business Solutions Inc. to be incorporated, opened a bank account in the business' name in the United States, the United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands, according to the indictment.