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$1M bribery scheme paid for Fort Bragg employee’s BMW, feds say. Now he faces prison

A sign at one of the entrances to Fort Bragg. (Fish Cop./WikiCommons)

Three former employees at an Army base in North Carolina have been accused of taking cash bribes in exchange for steering maintenance contracts.

A grand jury indicted Calvin Alfonza Jordan, 64; Edward Wade Crisco, 59; and Stephen Paul Sabato, 50, on bribery charges in an indictment unsealed Friday in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Jordan is also accused of laundering money.

All three men formerly worked in the Public Works department at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville.

“Any allegations of bribery by a government employee are disheartening,” acting U.S. Attorney Norman Acker said in a news release. “In this case, it is alleged these men, tasked with maintaining and contracting to maintain the very spaces in which the members of our military live and work, put their own monetary gain above that task.”

Jordan, Crisco and Sabato could not be reached for comment Monday, and a defense attorney representing Jordan did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.

According to the indictment, the Department of Public Works at Fort Bragg is tasked with providing maintenance, operating utilities and managing Army Family Housing.

Once a request for repair services has been submitted, prosecutors said, it goes to a department technician who can complete the request themselves or submit a request for an outside contractor to be called in.

A purchasing or procurement agent is then tasked with hiring the contractor. The technician is called in after the job is completed to sign off on the work.

Jordan was a procurement agent, court filings state, and Crisco and Sabato were flooring and roofing technicians.

From 2011 to 2019, the trio worked in tandem to push contracts to companies and individuals in exchange for payment, prosecutors said. The alleged bribes were also used to ensure those companies received more federal contracts down the line.

As a purchasing agent, the government said, Jordan accepted thousands of $200 payments for each contract he steered. Prosecutors estimate he made roughly $1.08 million over the course of eight years.

He is also accused of laundering the money by making cash deposits and withdrawing it in large sums. The government said he used those withdrawals to make “large purchases” — including a 2013 BMW Alpina B7. The luxury car sold new for close to $130,000 in 2013, according to Autotrader.

Jordan was charged with multiple counts of bribery and one count of money laundering. He faces up to 30 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted.

During the same time period, Sabato reportedly made $200,000 and Crisco made $50,000 from the alleged bribery scheme. The pair is also accused of recommending certain contractors for jobs and passing contractors’ work on inspection “without regard to completion workmanship,” the government said.

Sabato and Crisco were charged with two counts of receiving bribes. They face up to 15 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on each count.

Jordan, Sabato and Crisco are not the first Fort Bragg employees in the Public Works department to face federal scrutiny.

In June, former buying agent Morris Cooper, 63, in the maintenance division was sentenced to one year and five months in prison on conspiracy charges. His wife, 53-year-old Beverly Cooper, was also sentenced to five months’ probation.

The pair was ordered to pay more than $7 million in restitution and forfeiture.

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