DoJ honors Special Agent trio

  • Published
  • By SA Paul Wachsmuth

Three Special Agents from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Office of Procurement Fraud Investigations have been recognized by the Department of Justice for their outstanding work.

SA Sara Horn, PF Detachment 6, Joint Base Andrews, Md., and SA Paul Valdez, Director of Criminal & Fraud Investigations, 4th Field Investigations Region, San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, both formerly assigned to PF Det. 1 Operating Location-C, San Diego, Calif., were selected by Robert S. Brewer, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, to receive the “Excellence in the Pursuit of Justice Award.”

The award recognizes federal, state and local law enforcement partners for extraordinary contributions to the DoJ mission.

The two are being recognized for their efforts as members of the TrellisWare Technologies, Inc. investigation team. TrellisWare Technologies, Inc., a communications company in San Diego, agreed to pay more than $12 million to settle civil False Claims Act allegations that it was ineligible for multiple small business innovation and research contracts it had entered into with government defense agencies.

SAs Horn and Valdez will be presented their award in San Diego March 28, 2019.

SA Horn is also being recognized with an “Excellence in the Pursuit of Justice” award for her efforts as the lead agent in the investigation of Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation. NGSC, a subsidiary of the Northrop Grumman Corporation, with offices in San Diego, agreed to pay $31.65 million to settle civil and criminal investigations into fraud arising out of its Battlefield Airborne Communications Node and Dynamic Re-tasking Capability contracts with the United States Air Force. NGSC agreed to pay $27.45 million to settle civil allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by overstating the number of hours its employees worked on the BACN and DRC contracts. NGSC also agreed to forfeit $4.2 million in a separate agreement to resolve a criminal investigation into fraudulent billing on the BACN contract. 

SA Mark Sackett, PF Det. 3 OL-D, Dallas, Texas, was presented the “Assistant Attorney General Award of Distinction” from the DoJ Antitrust Division March 5, 2019, in Washington, D.C. This award recognizes outstanding collaboration on special projects and cases. SA Sackett was an integral part of the Korea Fuels investigation team.

South Korea-based companies SK Energy Co. Ltd., GS Caltex Corporation, and Hanjin Transportation Co. Ltd. agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay approximately $82 million in criminal fines for their involvement in a decade-long bid-rigging conspiracy that targeted contracts to supply fuel to United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force bases in South Korea.

In separate civil resolutions, the companies agreed to pay approximately $154 million to the United States for civil antitrust and False Claims Act violations related to the bid-rigging conspiracy.