Former U.S. Marine Corps subcontractor pleads guilty to obstruction of justice

 

Date: May 13, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

A former subcontractor for the U.S. Marine Corps pleaded guilty today to destroying records in connection with a federal investigation of bribery and procurement fraud at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (MCBCL), located in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

William J. Thompson of Sneads Ferry, North Carolina pleaded guilty to one count of destruction of records in a federal investigation before U.S. District Chief Judge Terrence W. Boyle of the Eastern District of North Carolina. A sentencing date has not been set.

According to documents filed with the court, Thompson owned and operated C&D Painting and Construction, a construction company with its principal place of business in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina. Public Official 1 was a civilian employee of the U.S. Marine Corps who directed the procurement of information technology services and equipment to be used by the Marine Corps at MCBCL and elsewhere. Company A was an information technology services company and was owned and operated by Person 1.

On March 28, 2018, agents of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), FBI, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) interviewed Thompson. During the interview, agents of the aforementioned agencies informed Thompson that they were investigating an alleged bribery conspiracy between Public Official 1, Person 1, Company A and Thompson. The agents questioned Thompson about work that C&D Construction completed as a subcontractor for Company A at MCBCL and about renovations that Thompson performed at Public Official 1's residence. At the time of the interview, the investigation was covert and not known to all subjects, including Public Official 1.

On the same evening of the interview and the following morning, Thompson exchanged several text messages with Public Official 1 in which Thompson informed Public Official 1 that the FBI, NCIS, and IRS-CI were investigating Public Official 1's involvement in contracting matters while Public Official 1 was employed by the Marine Corps. After informing Public Official 1 of the pending federal investigation, Thompson deleted the relevant text messages from his phone, despite knowing that the messages constituted evidence related to the federal investigation into bribery and procurement fraud at MCBCL.

This case was investigated by the IRS-CI, FBI, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, NCIS, and Naval Audit Service. Trial Attorney Erica O'Brien Waymack of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section is prosecuting the case.