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Ex-chief of anti-terrorism unit at Texas base guilty in scam

A Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine scans a patient at Naval Medical Center San Diego, Calif. A scam at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston involving MRI equipment led to the conviction on March 26, 2014, of a former chief of an anti-terrorism unit.

SAN ANTONIO — A former chief of an anti-terrorism unit at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor theft charge for a minor role in a scam in which a friend of his corrupted millions of dollars in military contracts.

In exchange for Randall Scott Pike, 40, admitting he got $680 in the scheme, federal prosecutors dismissed a felony charge that he impersonated an Army officer to get out of an apartment lease.

Pike's friend, retired Army Master Sgt. Lawrence Peter Fenti, was formerly in charge of Brooke Army Medical Center's radiology department. He, along with a former doctor there, Heidi Webster, pleaded guilty in January to graft charges.

They admitted using Webster's company, MRI Resources, to rig $8 million in military contracts for magnetic resonance imaging gear, technicians, hub buildings, ancillary buildings, support staff and other services.

Pike, who served in the Army and was discharged in the late 1990s, then was a civilian employee of the Army who served as a division chief of Army North's Civil Support Training Activity and organized training of National Guard units on how to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.

His plea paperwork said that between 2007 and 2009 Pike urged Army North to use MRI Resources as a subcontractor in National Guard unit training.

MRI Resources was paid $161,382 by Army North's prime contractor, and some of the invoices for those billings were inflated by Webster, Pike's plea paperwork said.

“He was very minimally involved, as you can see from the plea agreement,” said one of Pike's lawyers, Shawn Brown.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo set Pike's sentencing for April 23. He could get probation or up to a year in jail.
 

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