Former Contractor Pleads Guilty to Afghanistan Kickbacks

A former employee of an unnamed U.S. government contractor in Afghanistan pleaded guilty to accepting over $250,000 in illegal kickbacks from an Afghan subcontractor in return for his assistance in obtaining subcontracts on U.S. government contracts.

Nebraska McAlpine, 56, of Smyrna, Georgia, pleaded guilty in Atlanta before U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen to a one-count information filed on June 19, in the Northern District of Georgia, charging him with one count of accepting illegal kickbacks. Sentencing is scheduled for October 18.

In connection with his plea, McAlpine admitted that he maintained a principal place of residence within the Northern District of Georgia and was employed as a Project Manager for an American defense contractor in Kabul, Afghanistan (the Prime Contractor).

McAlpine admitted that he and an Afghan executive agreed that in exchange for illicit kickbacks, McAlpine would ensure that the Prime Contractor awarded lucrative subcontracts to the executive’s companies.

McAlpine repeatedly told his supervisors that these companies should be awarded “sole source” subcontracts, which allowed them to supply services to the Prime Contractor without having to competitively bid on them, he admitted.

As a result of the kickback scheme, the Prime Contractor paid over $1.6 million to the subcontractor to assist with maintaining the Afghanistan Ministry of the Interior Ultra-High Frequency (“UHF”) radio communications system in Kabul, Afghanistan, McAlpine admitted.

McAlpine further admitted that the executive agreed to pay kickbacks to McAlpine totaling approximately 15% of the value of the subcontracts. In 2015 and 2016, McAlpine accepted over $250,000 in kickbacks from the executive, and he hid these kickbacks from his employer by storing the cash payments in his personal effects and then physically transporting them himself to the U.S., he admitted. McAlpine further admitted that he then deposited the majority of these funds in amounts less than $10,000 into his bank accounts at bank branches in the Atlanta metropolitan area.