Former Coast Guard worker brokered freight with bribes

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Monday, June 03, 2013

A former petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard will serve several years behind bars for using his position to bid out and contract Department of Defense loads to get more than $200,000 in bribes.

Nathan Allen Dunn, 30, of Brookwood, AL, was sentenced in May to serve 87 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Dunn was also ordered to pay $779,549.85 in restitution to the U.S. Treasury.

In January, Dunn pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and receiving bribes.

According to a news release form the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Dunn was assigned as a transportation administrator at the Surface Forces Logistics Center in Norfolk, VA. Dunn’s job required him to arrange for shipments of boats, trailers generators and other large equipment between Coast Guard bases throughout the U.S. Shipments were coordinated using the Department of Defense Transportation Command, or TransCom, automated system to bid out and contract shipments with freight brokerage companies.

Dunn conspired with Huffman Earl Monk, owner and operator of 12 freight brokerage companies. They were all run from a single Brookwood, AL, office, prosecutors said in the release. After monk and Dunn met in Norfolk in September 2009, most of Monk’s companies began contracting to ship freight for the Coast Guard. The two men agreed that Dunn would inflate freight contracts to Monk’s brokerage companies in exchange for Monk giving Dunn percentage-based kickbacks.

The pair worked to create six shipping contracts for freight that never existed and split the 100 percent profit. 

To pay the Coast Guard officer his $220,000 in bribes, Monk gave Dunn debit cards linked to several of Monk’s business accounts, prosecutors said in the release.

“The total loss to the United States based on these fraudulent military shipping contracts was $779,549.85,” the release states.

The investigation was launched as part of the Hampton Roads Procurement Fraud Initiative, described as a “collaboration of defense investigative agencies, Inspectors General and law enforcement dedicated to strengthening the integrity of the federal procurement system.”

The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, with the cooperation and assistance of the Coast Guard Surface Forces Logistics Center.

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