Fort Gordon bid rigging case nets another guilty plea from a former Army colonel
By SANDY HODSON | The Augusta Chronicle | Published: March 22, 2019
AUGUSTA, Ga. (Tribune News Service) — A retired Army colonel admitted Thursday he took more than $1.2 million in a conspiracy to rig bids in the building and modernization of communications networks at Fort Gordon.
Anthony Williams, 59, is the latest former Army officer to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Augusta in the bribery and bid-rigging conspiracy that took place from 2008 through 2014. Williams was on active duty in Washington, D.C., and responsible for a billion-dollar battle command budget during the conspiracy. It was his job to provide his commanders with accurate funding strategies for the best use of the Army's limited resources.
Instead, Williams conspired with retired Col. Calvin Lawyer, who started his own business named Communications Research Engineering and Consultant Group to obtain government contracts. Lawyer was once responsible for the building and modernization of the information and communications network at Fort Gordon, a job that next went to Col. Anthony Roper who also entered the conspiracy. According to earlier reports in The Augusta Chronicle, more than $20 million in contracts were funneled to Lawyer's private company and a subcontractor and co-conspirator "J.D.Y." in exchange for bribes.
In Williams case, his bribes totaling $1,202,862 came from J.D.Y., who paid Williams' wife for a no-show job at his company.
On Thursday, Williams entered into a plea agreement. In exchange for pleading guilty to conspiracy and forfeiting the bribe money, the federal prosecutors will not seek additional criminal charges against him in regards to the criminal acts of the conspiracy, and prosecutors will not charge his wife in the case.
Senior Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr., who presided over the Lawyer and Roper cases, expressed frustration that the taxation of the ill-gotten gains hasn't been an issue in these cases. "These case have been a window into some unexpected attitudes," Bowen said. "I have seen men who have been placed, in my opinion, in very high ranks and positions paying bribes and receiving bribes in violation of their oath ..." They have betrayed every soldier and citizen, but have become infuriated at the idea they should pay taxes on their ill-gotten gains, Bowen said.
Roper, the judge noted, hadn't paid income taxes for three years. Williams' attorney, Stuart Berman of Maryland, assured the judge Williams paid taxes in the years of the conspiracy. His family was hit with considerable expenses starting in 2016 when his father-in-law became ill. He is working with an accountant to structure a payment plan, Berman said.
Bowen agreed to allow Williams to be free on bond pending sentencing on the conditions he and his wife surrender their passports to the clerk's office, submit a financial statement that lists all assets, and file all past due tax returns, providing a weekly report with the pretrial services officer on his efforts to complete the task.