ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A trucking company owner and two others were sentenced to prison and ordered to pay millions in restitution after being convicted in federal court.
Christopher Whitman, 49, was sentenced to 22 years in prison in an Albany federal courtroom late Thursday afternoon after his conviction on 57 counts of bribery and defrauding the government.
He was also ordered to pay more than $18 million in restitution, and serve three years probation after release.
Prosecutors said Whitman and two others participated in bribes to over-bill the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany by tens of millions of dollars for trucking contracts between 2008 and 2012.
The contracts went to United Industrial of Georgia trucking company over the four year period.
Prosecutors said Whitman, who owned the company, lived a lavish lifestyle and bought dozens of homes and properties with the stolen taxpayer dollars during those years.
Base transportation official 38-year-old Shawn McCarty, a co-defendant in the trial, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $15,410,455 in restitution, with three years probation after release.
Base contractor 44-year-old Bradford Newell, a third defendant in the trial, was sentenced to five years in prison with three years probation after release, and ordered to pay $513,600 in restitution.
Newell was found guilty on all 16 counts against him. McCarty was convicted on 17 of 29 counts.
Judge Louis Sands called it a "matter of greed."
All the men apologized to their families and friends for their fraud.
McCarty and Newell were released pending their surrender to prison, but Whitman was taken immediately into custody because prosecutors said there were hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold coins Whitman bought that are still missing, and that he was a flight risk.