A former Marine Corps captain who served as a contracting officer has been sentenced to 37 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
During the offense period, Liu served at the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) in Djibouti, Africa. As a contracting officer, LIU was entrusted to evaluate bid proposals from potential suppliers and to award government contracts that were the most appropriate and advantageous for the needs of CJTF-HOA.
A Federal investigation into Liu’s activities revealed that from September 2012 until January 2013, he and two government contractors conspired to exchange and use protected procurement information of competitors for the purpose of mounting successful bids for a $495,000 Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). The BPA was established by the U.S. Navy for the procurement of multimedia services in Somalia.
The investigation revealed that Liu was closely associated with the contractors and sought to abuse his position of trust as a Marine Corps contracting officer for his and their personal gain. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Liu unlawfully provided the contractors with protected bid information submitted by competing firms that were actively seeking BPA awards. The contractors, in turn, used the stolen bid information to craft their own proposals and undercut the competitors’ pricing and other terms. After all the bids were submitted to CJTF-HOA and were pending Liu’s evaluation, he solicited his co-conspirators to assist him in paying down a debt he owed to a supplier on an unrelated and unauthorized “side deal” for two government vehicles. The scheme included Liu’s creation of a sham government contract for the vehicles worth $28,000, the awarding of the contract to the Ugandan contractor, and the diversion of the resulting government funds back to Liu through a complex series of pre-ordained international wires and withdrawals.
The government contractors with whom Liu conspired were based in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Kampala, Uganda, respectively. Contractor Monroe Allen Stueber, Jr. pled guilty to one count of unlawfully obtaining procurement information on October 15, 2015 and was sentenced to 3 years of probation on February 23, 2016.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.