A second civilian employee at Schofield Barracks has been charged with accepting bribes.
Legal experts say prosecutors are looking to implicate others in what appears to be a growing conspiracy.
Experts say a plea deal is in the works, which means the federal government is casting a wider net to catch others involved in the bribery scheme.
Court documents say Victor Garo, a former civilian supervisory range officer at Schofield Barracks, conspired with others to solicit bribes in exchange for awarding contracts.
Prosecutors say last year, Garo helped approve a $12 million contract for vegetation removal work at Schofield. Documents do not name the contractor and only identify it as “Company A.”
A legal expert says court records indicate that Garo is already cooperating with the prosecutors.
“Basically convinced the defendant that there’s no sense in fighting this and that it’s in their benefit to work it out now,” said defense attorney Victor Bakke, who’s not involved in the case.
He says information released by prosecutors shows there could be others who were involved. Documents say Garo supervised a staff of 83 employees at the range. Last month, Franklin Raby, also a former range employee at Schofield, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.
“Once this case falls then you’ll start to see cooperation from others and it will just have that domino effect all the way up the chain to the big fish,” said Bakke,
Court documents say Garo and other public officials recommended U.S. Army contracts that they knew would be awarded to Company A. And in exchange, Garo received valuable items. Among them, numerous rifles, a Jeep Rubicon, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, as well as a diamond ring.
“When somebody’s bribing a government official, they tend to do their homework and they tend to find out what that individual’s into. So if they’re into golf or they’re into sports you’ll see the bribes like that, so you’ll see tickets to the Super Bowl,” said Bakke.
We reached out to Garo’s attorney and we have not heard back. Raby is scheduled to be sentenced in August.