Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Defense Procurement Charges

Will we call 2008 the year of defense procurement prosecutions?  It appears to be starting this way as the opening days of the year find the DOJ proceeding with charges against defense contractors.  A press release of the DOJ states that "[t]wo Department of Defense contractors were arrested in New York City on Jan. 6, 2008, and charged with conspiring to steal information relating to U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) contracts to supply fuel to DOD aircraft worldwide." "Two contractor firms and a third individual are also charged with participating in the conspiracies." 

One individual is charged by way of an Information here.  The use of an Information is often indicative of a future plea and cooperation. Then there is a separate Indictment here for others. 

Pleas and cooperation can eliminate the risk to a defendant who may be facing enormous consequences if found guilty. But it can also raise issues for the government as to whether they have selected the correct person to receive a cooperation agreement.  Are they proceeding against the most culpable person, or is it a situation of the more blameworthy person escaping criminal liability merely because they are talking to the government?  Often these questions do not get answered until the evidence is presented at trial.


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