Fired Eyak exec pleads guilty to fraud

Harold Babb, a ringleader in a corrupt government contracting scheme, pleaded guilty in federal court March 13 to fraud charges, leading federal officials to claim success in exposing one of the largest contracting fraud schemes in government history.

According to a statement of offense signed by Babb, he admitted participating in a scheme that involved the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and two contracts: the Technology for Infrastructure, Geospatial, and Environmental Requirements (TIGER) contract and the Contingency Operations Readiness Engineering & Support (CORES) contract.

The bribery charge stems from Babb’s payments and promises to Kerry Khan, a former program manager at the Army Corps, in return for Khan’s approval on contracts and subcontracts awarded through the Army Corps of Engineers to Eyak Technology, an IT firm, and Big Surf Construction Management. All told, Babb pleaded guilty to providing, offering and promising more than $7 million, directly and indirectly, to Khan. Babb was director of contracts for Eyak and was fired by the company when the allegations came to light.

The kickback charge stems from Babb’s dealings with Alex Cho, the former chief technology officer of Nova Datacom LLC, an information assurance and security service provider. Babb admitted to soliciting, accepting and attempting to accept more than $1 million in kickbacks from Cho and Nova Datacom in return for giving the company preferential treatment on subcontracts.

Babb was arrested in October but was one of the last to plead guilty.

“It took me a while to come to terms (with), but I am guilty,” Babb, who has been in custody since his arrest, told a federal judge before entering his plea, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. said Babb faces significant prison time and will forfeit to cash, properties, and a Porsche that he bought with the money.

“Unethical contractors should understand that their attempts to fleece the taxpayer will not only carry harsh financial penalties but also real prison time as well,” Machen said.

Officials emphasized this case as an example of how they will go after unethical contractors.

“As this case illustrates, Army [Criminal Investigation Command (CID)] Major Procurement Fraud Unit will aggressively pursue anyone who attempts to defraud the U.S. government,” said Major General David Quantock, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. “Army CID, along with our federal law enforcement partners, are committed to ensuring that these conspirators are held accountable for their illegal activities.”

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity
    Shutterstock photo id 669226093 By Gorodenkoff

    The disinformation game

    The federal government is poised to bring new tools and strategies to bear in the fight against foreign-backed online disinformation campaigns, but how and when they choose to act could have ramifications on the U.S. political ecosystem.

  • FCW PERSPECTIVES
    sensor network (agsandrew/Shutterstock.com)

    Are agencies really ready for EIS?

    The telecom contract has the potential to reinvent IT infrastructure, but finding the bandwidth to take full advantage could prove difficult.

  • People
    Dave Powner, GAO

    Dave Powner audits the state of federal IT

    The GAO director of information technology issues is leaving government after 16 years. On his way out the door, Dave Powner details how far govtech has come in the past two decades and flags the most critical issues he sees facing federal IT leaders.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.