PENSACOLA, Fla. --
Jerry T. Vertefeuille, 54, of Niceville, Fla., was sentenced Feb. 12, 2019, to 60 months in prison, while co-defendant Christopher A. Carter, 37, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 15, 2019. The sentence was announced by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
On July 11, 2018, Vertefeuille pleaded guilty to conspiracy (to commit theft of honest services and wire fraud), bribery of a public official and obtaining and disclosing procurement information.
Vertefeuille was a federal government contracting officer representative for the 96th Test Wing Maintenance Group at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. His duties included overseeing maintenance work and initially approving purchases and invoices.
The case was investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Procurement Fraud Detachment 5, Operating Location-B, Eglin AFB, Fla., the Air Force Audit Agency and Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Lead AFOSI case agent was SA Jon Christian, currently deployed to the International Contract Corruption Task Force. SA Jerimiah Patka handled the case through the sentencing hearing in SA Christian's absence. SA Wendell Palmer, Certified Fraud Examiner Special Agent-In-Charge, PF Det. 5, received the following email comments from Mr. John Case, assigned fraud acquisition attorney, Air Force Materiel Command Law Office, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio:
"This case represents many, many hours of superb work by the OSI team at Eglin AFB, including SA Darrell Freeman, SA Jonathon Christian, Air Force Audit Agency auditor Stephen Scruggs and you (SA Jerimiah Patka) on this case," Case said. "You played an especially key role in working with Stephen Scruggs and Assistant United States Attorney Jeff Tharp to obtain the guilty pleas and sentences and prove damages. Crimes of this type are difficult to identify and obtain sufficient evidence to prosecute. but, the investigative team at Eglin persevered through a lot of setbacks to see this to a very successful outcome."
"Corruption in the government procurement process damages the public trust and ultimately degrades the warfighting mission of the Department of Defense," said Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, DCIS Southeast Field Office. "DCIS, along with our investigative partners, remains committed to pursuing and bringing to justice anyone who uses fraud and deception to undermine the critical missions of the Department of Defense and the safety of our communities."
In 2007, Vertefeuille helped Carter, as the owner of TCC Services, Unlimited, LLC, win a paint booth maintenance contract, as well as multiple contract renewals. Vertefeuille received kickbacks in exchange for approving Carter's fraudulent invoices and recommending the renewal of TCC's contract.
"Public corruption is an attack on the rule of law, which is the mission of the Department of Justice and the cornerstone of American government,” Keefe said. “The U.S. Attorney's Office, along with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, is committed to upholding the public's faith in honest services and enforcing high ethical standards."
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey M. Tharp.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation's principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.