Saturday, April 17, 2021

Former U.S. Army Director pleads guilty to bribery charges

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A former senior U.S. Army civilian employee pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to accept over $100,000 in bribes while serving as the director of the range at Hawaii’s Schofield Barracks and to a related firearms offense.

Victor Garo, 67, of Mililani, Hawaii, pleaded guilty before Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright of the District of Hawaii to a two-count information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of illegally transporting firearms across state lines.  Sentencing is scheduled for March 2020 before Chief Judge Seabright.

According to admissions in his plea agreement, from 2011 through 2018, while employed as the range director at Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Garo accepted over $100,000 worth of bribes—including in cash, automobiles and firearms—from an employee of a federal contractor that sought and received business from the U.S. Army.  In return, Garo used his position to benefit the contractor in securing U.S. Army contracts, he admitted.

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Garo is the second public official and third individual to plead guilty as a result of an ongoing investigation into fraud and bribery at Schofield Barracks.

Army-CID, DCIS and the FBI investigated this case with assistance from the Defense Contract Audit Agency.  Trial Attorney Laura Connelly and Assistant Chief Justin Weitz of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Wallenstein of the District for Hawaii are prosecuting the case.

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