Federal employee from Climax charged with bribery

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, August 25, 2011

A U. S. Department of Defense employee from Climax was arrested Wednesday and charged with taking bribes to steer federal contracts for work in Afghanistan to certain bidders, according to a news release from the U. S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia.

According to the release, Desi DeAndre Wade, 39, of Climax, was arrested Wednesday by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and has been charged, in a criminal complaint, with bribery. Wade was scheduled to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge at 3 p.m. Thursday.

“This Department of Defense employee is charged with selling his position of public trust for cash,” said U. S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “While he was supposed to be working to support our troops, he was lining his pockets.”

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According to Yates and the criminal complaint that was filed, Wade is currently a U. S. Department of Defense (DOD) employee assigned to Kabul, Afghanistan, as the chief of Fire and Emergency Services. On July 16, 2011, the FBI in Kabul was notified that Wade was allegedly using his position as a contracting official to improperly direct DOD contracts to certain bidders in return for personal gain.

Specifically, Wade first allgedly influenced an Afghanistan-based contractor to make $4,000 in bribe payments to Wade, in return for guarantees of future work contracts.

He is later accused of directing a larger contract to the company, in exchange for a percentage of the value of that contract. Prosecutors  allege that Wade eventually accepted a bribe of $95,000 for his promise to deliver the contract to that company.

Federal agents arrested Wade in Atlanta on Wednesday and found the money in his backpack, according to the release.

The case is being investigated by special agents of the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, along with support from the U. S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.

Assistant U. S. Attorney Robert McBurney is prosecuting the case for the government.