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Army officials in 18-year corruption scandal sentenced

A gavel. (TNS/Released)
September 16, 2022

Two U.S. Army depot officials and two vendors have been sentenced for their roles in an 18-year scheme to rig the bidding process for purchases through the Red River Army Depot (RRAD) in Texarkana, Texas.

The Death Ray is here – and the US military has it

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced sentences for former RRAD vendors Jeffrey Harrison, 44, and Justin Bishop, 52. Both men plead guilty in May to offering bribes to former RRAD official Jimmy Scarbrough to manipulate contracts awarded through the government purchase card (GPC) program.

Former RRAD officials Devin McEwin, 43, and Louis Singleton, 64, also plead in May and April respectively for accepting bribes from Harrison and other vendors.

Scarbrough plead to his own charges in the bribery scheme in August and is awaiting sentencing.

RRAD is a 15,375-acre facility that serves as a supply storage and vehicle repair depot for the Army.

According to the DOJ, Scarbrough manipulated more than $7 million in RRAD’s purchases between November of 2001 and May of 2019. Scarbrough had served as RRAD’s Equipment Mechanic Supervisor throughout the scheme and told multiple vendors what to bid, including the item, quantity and price. By doing this, Scarbrough was able to get fake bids, thereby steering contracts to his preferred vendors, Harrison and Bishop.

Scarbrough got hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from the vendors for his role in coordinating the bid-rigging. Harrison paid Scarbrough $116,000 in U.S. Postal Service money orders.

Harrison and Bishop also bought Scarbrough at least $135,000 in car parts or services for his hot rod collection and $27,000 in firearms, like rare Colt handguns and Wurfflein dueling pistols.

McEwin and Singleton also took bribes from vendors.

Harrison paid for McEwin with $21,000 in worth of hunting trips, refurbishments for his 1964 Ford truck and donations directed to the Annona Volunteer Fire Department.

Singleton, who supervised the GPC program at RRAD, took more than $18,000 in bribes from Harrison and others. In at least one case, Singleton’s payoff came in the form of tickets to the Hall of Fame section of AT&T Stadium for the Dallas Cowboys football game against the New England Patriots.

“The Red River Army Depot is a key component of our nation’s defense infrastructure and is the lifeblood of the surrounding community,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “Scarbrough, Harrison, Bishop, McEwin, Singleton, and others exploited the public trust in order to line their own pockets and undermined the warfighting mission of the Depot in the process.”

Harrison was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and was ordered to forfeit $300,000.

Bishop was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in federal prison and ordered to pay $55,000.

McEwin was sentenced to a five-years of probation, which will and an eight months of home confinement. He was also ordered to forfeit $21,000 and pay a fine of $5,000.

Singleton was sentenced to five years of federal probation, including eight months of home confinement, and was ordered to forfeit $18,000.

Scarbrough, who is still awaiting sentencing, faces up to five years in federal prison for taking bribes from the vendors. He has already agreed to forfeit his 1951 Ford F-1 pickup truck and the amount of money to be determined by the court