From the Washington Post


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Outright Corruption Alleged by Justice Department

“In the autumn of 2005, a mutual friend introduced Pamela Banks to a burly ex-Marine named Gary Alexander, at the time a high-ranking official at the secretive SPAWAR military research facility in San Diego.

“Alexander had a simple proposition. He could get Banks hired as a subcontractor on government projects through his position at SPAWAR, and get her all the work she would want.

“In return, Alexander asked for one thing: a 30 percent cut of the revenue generated from the contracts.

“Banks agreed, according to federal court records. She set up a small company in her San Diego home dubbed Advanced Technical Solutions and over the next two years reeled in $325,000 in subcontracts for SPAWAR work.”

That’s the top of a story this week in the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’s based on a recently unsealed Justice Department indictment of people who worked as senior officials in the Navy program and their alleged confederates in the contracting world.

The indictment describes a sordid kickback scheme — a subversion of the public trust. Here’s more from the story in the Union-Tribune.

“Investigators placed wiretaps on the phones of the Alexanders and others in the ring centered at SPAWAR and observed meetings where cash was handed over to Alexander, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Ciaffa said in court yesterday.

“Alexander, 49, was the head of SPAWAR’s Air Surveillance and Reconnaissance branch, a position prosecutors said he used to steer work to contractors and subcontractors in exchange for cash and gifts.

“Also indicted were Louis Williams, 43, and his wife, Elizabeth Ramos, 42, who own a National City-based firm called Technical Logistics Corp. That company garnered about $4.8 million in government contracts between 1999 and 2008.

“Sinthia Nares, 43, also was indicted in the scheme and prosecutors say, is allegedly Alexander’s mistress, for whom he secured lucrative jobs at various contracting firms.

“A sixth defendant, Jackie Godwin, was a manager at Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, a San Diego defense company that was a primary contractor with SPAWAR. He is alleged to have directed subcontracting work to the companies Banks, Ramos and Williams ran at Alexander’s direction. Godwin is in custody in Georgia and is on his way to San Diego to face charges.

“Though it spanned years, investigators were alerted to the alleged scheme in late 2007 with an anonymous tip to a federal fraud hotline.”

By Robert O'Harrow |  July 10, 2009; 12:12 PM ET fraud