Retired MCLB worker pleads guilty - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Retired MCLB worker pleads guilty

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A retired employee of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany (MCLB-Albany) pleaded guilty today to receiving bribes in exchange for allowing heavy equipment to be stolen from the base for resale, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore for the Middle District of Georgia.

 Here is the News release issued by the U.S. Attorney-- 

WASHINGTON – A retired employee of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany (MCLB-Albany) pleaded guilty today to receiving bribes in exchange for allowing heavy equipment to be stolen from the base for resale, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore for the Middle District of Georgia.

Shelby C. James, 67, of Albany, Ga., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands in the Middle District of Georgia to one count of bribery of a public official.

During his guilty plea, James, the former civilian inventory control manager of the distribution management center at MCLB-Albany, admitted to participating in a scheme in which he assisted an individual, referred to in court documents as "Person A," in stealing heavy equipment – such as cranes, bulldozers and front-end loaders – from the base.  Person A, the owner of a commercial trucking business that was routinely contracted by the MCLB's Defense Logistics Agency, then arranged to sell the equipment to private purchasers. 

According to court documents, while working at the distribution management center, James was responsible for supervising a number of employees in the inventorying of obsolete equipment returning from the Fleet Marine Corps.  This equipment was sent to MCLB-Albany for one of two purposes: to be demilitarized and disposed of through eventual sale or destruction, or to be rehabilitated, repaired and redistributed to the Fleet Marine Corps. 

 To accomplish the theft scheme, James and one of his employees, referred to in court documents as "Public Official A," facilitated the theft of the equipment, including by letting the equipment be driven off the base.  James admitted that to facilitate the unlawful removal of the equipment, he typically prepared a false DD Form 1348 authorizing the Defense Logistics Agency to release the equipment to Person A, and that the equipment was then sold to private purchasers for tens of thousands of dollars.

James also admitted that he received payments from Person A after the sale of the stolen equipment, often delivered to him by Public Official A on behalf of Person A in the form of a check or cash, totaling approximately $98,500 during the approximately 15-month scheme.  James admitted that the total loss to the Department of Defense from the theft of government equipment was approximately $1,075,000.

At sentencing, James faces a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of twice the gain or loss from the offense.  As part of his plea agreement with the United States, James agreed to forfeit the bribe proceeds he received from the scheme, as well as to pay full restitution to the Department of Defense.  A sentencing date has not yet been set.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Richard B. Evans and J.P. Cooney of the Justice Department's Criminal Division Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Alan Dasher of the Middle District of Georgia. 

The case is being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, with assistance from the Dougherty County District Attorney's Office Economic Crime Unit and the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

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