On January 9, 2015, a former Army first sergeant and his father were both sentenced for conspiring to launder bribes received in Afghanistan.
Between 2008-2009, Jimmy Dennis was a first sergeant with the U.S. Army, serving as a paying agent in the Humanitarian Aid Yard at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. Dennis worked to procure supplies from local Afghan contractors, to be used as part of the Commander’s Emergency Response Program for urgent humanitarian relief requirements throughout Afghanistan.
According to the FBI, soon after Dennis began working as a paying agent, an Afghan interpreter offered him a $10,000 bribe to add specific Afghan contractors to the list of eligible contractors. Dennis accepted the bribe money, and later, accepted additional payments from a second interpreter for a similar deal. Dennis estimated that he personally received about $250,000 in bribes. He claims he sent the money home to his wife, his father, Jerry Dennis, and his friend, Army Veteran James Pittman, who agreed to help launder the cash through his landscaping business.
The younger Mr. Dennis would send the money home secreted inside packages and gifts, including a secret compartment on a hope chest and stashed inside toy trucks. The cash was given to Pittman, who would disperse it back to Jimmy and Jerry Dennis via payroll checks from his company.
It is believed that the co-conspirators were caught when they began buying motorcycles and making large payments on vehicle loans.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Army Criminal Investigative Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigation. Jimmy Dennis and Pittman both plead guilty to the charges of conspiring to launder bribes in May 2014.
On September 8, 2014, Pittman was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, and ordered to forfeit $25,000.Jerry Dennis was sentenced to six months house arrest, two years of probation, and forfeiture of $110,000.Jimmy Dennis was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, and was ordered to forfeit $115,000.
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Military Connection: Former Army Sergeant Sentenced for Taking Bribes: By Debbie Gregory