In a federal case of government corruption within an industrial-military complex, two women from Sussex County, New Jersey — one a defense contractor while the other served as a civilian employee for the Defense Department — have admitted their roles in a criminal conspiracy in which the suspects traded bribes and other gratuities for favorable treatment on government contracts, a former police chief, who is familiar with the New Jersey military installation targeted by the perpetrators, told Conservative Base on Sunday.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of federal criminal statutes for all of New Jersey. Its jurisdiction covers acts of terrorism, public corruption, white-collar crime, organized crime gang activities, cyber crimes, drug importation through New Jersey ports, and many other criminal acts.
In this specific case, which involved the United States military installation known as the Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County’s Rockaway Township, the perpetrators, Irene Pombo, 68, of Hamburg, New Jersey, and her daughter, Nicole Pier, 38, of Byram Township, New Jersey, were prosecuted for bribery of public officials or contractors.
The two women pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Vazquez in Newark’s federal criminal court building. The separate guilty pleas by the mother-daughter defendants included conspiracy to give or accept anything of value in return for favorable assistance with government contracts and with making false claims against the United States.
Irene Pombo was the contracts manager for Subsystem Technologies. Her daughter, Nicole Pier was an Acquisition Analyst and a Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) at Picatinny Arsenal.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Pombo was an employee of an entity referred to in court as simply “Company A, a defense contracting firm that works with the Department of Defense at Picatinny Arsenal, a U.S. Army installation in Morris County, New Jersey. Her daughter Nicole Pier was a civilian employee at Picatinny Arsenal.
From January 2006 through December 2017, Pombo, and other Company A employees conspired to offer a variety of valuable gifts, including Apple products, luxury handbags, Beats headphones, and tickets to a luxury sky box at professional sporting events to a number of individuals employed at Picatinny Arsenal, including Pier, in order to obtain and retain contracts and other favorable assistance.
Pombo admitted that she and other Company A employees filed false bills to the United States writing off the cost of the bribes as “materials” needed on government contracts.
The conspiracy charge to which Pombo and Pier pleaded guilty carries a sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for June 19, 2018.
While the U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credits special agents of the FBI with the successful outcome of the Pombo-Pier case, he made certain to mention law enforcement officials assisting the FBI, including Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Army’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Margaret Ann Mahoney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s National Security Unit in Newark.