Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Employee Pleads Guilty to Disclosing Sensitive Procurement Information

WASHINGTON – A former employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pleaded guilty to providing sensitive contract information to a bidder seeking to win a multi-billion dollar government contract, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division announced today.

David M. Honbo, 60, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of violating the Procurement Integrity Act. Honbo admitted he provided bid evaluation information to a consultant employed by a multinational consortium trying to obtain the lucrative contract to relocate the U.S. Army base in Yongsan, South Korea. Honbo’s plea was accepted by the Honorable Rosemary M. Collyer, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia, and sentencing was set for Oct. 30, 2008. Honbo faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 at sentencing.

As part of his plea, Honbo admitted that while stationed in South Korea as a civilian employee of the Army Corps of Engineers he worked on the team charged with awarding the Yongsan base contract. As a result of his position he had access to source selection and bid evaluation information. Honbo admitted that in August 2006, he provided sensitive bid evaluation information--including confidential evaluations of responses to the government’s requests for qualifications (RFQ)--to a consultant Honbo knew was working for one of the potential bidders. Honbo also admitted that he gave the consultant the information in order to give that potential bidder a competitive advantage. When initially questioned by investigators from the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigations Division, Honbo lied about his actions.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division in support of the Department of Justice’s National Procurement Fraud Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Richard B. Evans and John P. Pearson of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, headed by Section Chief William M. Welch II.

The National Procurement Fraud Initiative is designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The National Procurement Fraud Task force is currently chaired by Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich for the Criminal Division. See, USDOJ.