Former Hill AFB contractor charged with unlawful exportation

The U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland, announced April 27, 2017, that a defense contractor was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release, for a wire fraud conspiracy and for paying illegal gratuities to a government official, in connection with the award of more than $53 million in federal government contracts. (U.S. Dept. of Justice photo)

The U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland, announced April 27, 2017, that a defense contractor was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release, for a wire fraud conspiracy and for paying illegal gratuities to a government official, in connection with the award of more than $53 million in federal government contracts. (U.S. Dept. of Justice photo)

SALT LAKE CITY -- Scott A. Williams, 51, of Huntsville, Utah, is charged with two counts of unlawful exportation of goods from the United States, false statement in a document and conversion of property of the United States in an indictment unsealed recently in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City. 

Williams is a former civilian contract employee at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, where he worked with the Foreign Military Sales Program with specific responsibility for F-16 parts.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office represents the interests of the United States in the federal court, and we are committed to protecting the assets and technology of the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense," U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said March 1.

The indictment alleges Williams exported two F-16 aircraft brake assemblies, knowing it was a violation of federal law to export them. The indictment alleges Williams prepared a document falsely authorizing two F-16 brake assemblies to be shipped to Indonesia in violation of federal law. The indictment further alleges Williams exported several documents, identified in the indictment as U.S. Air Force technical orders for F-16 aircraft.

"The Air Force Office of Special Investigations takes allegations involving the illegal technical transfer of Department of Defense aircraft technologies very seriously. Prevention, detection and/or prosecution of such transfers are essential to ensuring our ability to maintain air supremacy against our adversaries," said Special Agent Dave Bolton, of OSI Detachment 113 at Hill. "This investigation was the result of hard work and contributions made by the personnel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations, IRS Criminal Investigation, the Air Force Audit Agency, the Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service."

The final count of the indictment alleges Williams converted to his own use, and for the use of another, technical data of F-16 aircraft through the use of an external hard drive containing U.S. Air Force orders. The indictment alleges the items were in Williams' care and possession as a program and financial manager at Hill AFB.

"The primary goal of Homeland Security Investigations Counter Proliferation Investigations is detecting and disrupting illegal exports before they, or the actors behind them, damage U.S. national security interests," said David A. Thompson, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Denver. "HSI is committed to aggressively investigating these violations to prevent unauthorized countries from procuring anything that could harm the national security interests of the United States and its allies."

Williams, who was arrested on the charges in the indictment on Feb. 19, 2016, was arraigned Feb. 23 in federal court in U.S. Magistrate Judge Dustin Pead's courtroom. He entered a plea of not guilty to the four charges.

Trial is set for May 2, before U.S. District Court Judge Jill N. Parrish. Magistrate Pead released Williams on strict conditions, including a restriction that he avoid contact with individuals considered either alleged victims, potential witnesses and/or co-defendants in the case. He also must undergo a mental health evaluation and complete any recommended treatment, as directed by his pretrial release officer.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until found guilty in court.

The potential maximum penalty for each count of unlawful exportation of goods from the United States is 10 years in prison. False statement in a document carries a potential penalty of up to five years. Conversion of government property has a potential penalty of 10 years.