ATLANTA -- A U.S. Army colonel, his wife and a former defense contractor are accused of participating in what federal prosecutors call a bribery and kickback scheme connected to a Georgia military base.
Col. Anthony Roper conspired with his wife and others to seek and accept bribes in exchange for rigging more than $20 million in Army contracts to individuals and companies, prosecutors said Thursday.
The scheme began in 2008 and lasted nearly a decade, prosecutors said.
Roper was stationed at Fort Gordon near Augusta, Georgia. His duties included oversight of the Army's efforts to build and modernize its information and communication networks, an indictment said.
Roper, 55, was charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of bribery, four counts of false statements and one count of obstruction, with a maximum sentence of 85 years in prison and a $1.75 million fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office Southern District of Georgia.
The colonel's wife, Audra Roper, 49, is charged with conspiracy, false statements and obstruction.
Dwayne Oswald Fulton, 58, is charged with conspiracy and obstruction. Fulton was an officer for "a large defense contracting company." The firm is not named in the court records.
Audra Roper operated Quadar Group, which prosecutors said was a shell company used to funnel bribe payments to her husband, the indictment states. It was one of multiple shell companies used to defraud the government, prosecutors said.
Court records filed this week do not list any attorneys for the defendants.
A spokesman at Fort Gordon did not immediately respond Thursday.
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