Defense

Corrupt Army Soldiers Used Bribe Money For Costly Toys

(REUTERS/Sara Stathas)

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Two Army sergeants are heading to prison and forfeiting a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and Rolex watch after they took bribes for awarding humanitarian aid contracts in Afghanistan, according to a recent news release from the Department of Justice

Army Sgt. Ramiro Pena Jr., and his supervisor, Army Master Sgt. Jimmy W. Dennis, awarded 217 contracts worth $30.8 million to local vendors for supplies directed at humanitarian relief efforts in Afghanistan.

The duo did so while stationed at the Humanitarian Assistance Yard at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan during 2008 and 2009. The unnamed vendors, in return, gave the two GIs more than $200,000 in bribe payments and jewelry.

Pena used some of the $100,000 in bribes he received to buy a Harley-Davdison motorcycle. Pena also sent about $22,000 home to his family in Kentucky, hidden in multiple greeting cards “to avoid drawing attention to the thickness of any particular envelope,” according to the DOJ.

Dennis received about $115,000 in bribe payments, and gave a bribe-funded Rolex watch to his subordinate.

Pena will serve 24 months behind bars for conspiracy to commit bribery, and Dennis will serve 41 months for conspiracy to launder bribe payments.

Judges in Kentucky and Tennessee ordered the co-conspirators to forfeit all bribe payments — including the motorcycle and Rolex watch.

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