Army Space Defense Engineer Charged With Accepting Bribes


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Army Space Defense Engineer Charged With Accepting Bribes

By Steve Hall

May 30, 2010 - Steven Earl Bryant, 39, was charged in a two-count information filed in U.S. District Court with being a public official who accepted bribes in relation to Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) contracts with private companies who were supposed to provide material for missile defense research. The information also charges Bryant with evading taxes of $33,370 on $110,694 of unreported income for the 2006 calendar year.

“Mr. Bryant abused his position with the U.S. Army for his own financial gain, accepting payments for preferential treatment of private  contractors, he undermined the integrity of the contracting process.” Said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

"Financial crimes can thrive for a time, but eventually the web untangles and the fraud is exposed. IRS Criminal Investigation special agents are experts at unraveling such schemes, leaving no financial stone unturned," said IRS Special Agent Reginael McDaniel.

According to the information, Bryant was a public official from 2002 to 2010 while he worked as an engineer with the missile defense command at Redstone Arsenal. In that capacity, he acted as the Technical Representative for Contracting Officers on Space and Missile Defense Command contracts for items and material for missile defense research supplied by private businesses.


Among the contracts monitored by Bryant were contracts between the missile defense command and companies owned by Maurice Subilia, Dennis Darling and Paul Hurlburt, who have already plead guilty on other charges. The information against Bryant charges that between 2002 and November 2006, he received about $200,000 in return for and with the intent of being influenced in his job involving contracts between the missile defense command and companies that were paying him bribes.

Subilia and Hurlburt pleaded guilty in federal court in Maine in 2009 to conspiracy charges in connection to procurement fraud in contracts their companies had with the missile defense command in Huntsville. Subilia, who also pleaded guilty to money laundering and bribery charges, admitted he paid more than $1.2 million in bribes, from 2000 to 2007, to missile defense command employees Michael Cantrell and Douglas Ennis. Darling pleaded guilty in 2008 to a federal bribery charge in Alabama. His engineering company had contracts with the missile defense command from 2005 through 2007. He is currently awaiting sentencing.


Cantrell was the director and Ennis the deputy director for the Joint Center for Technology Integration at the missile defense command. Both men pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy and other charges related to the procurement fraud scheme. Cantrell has been sentenced. Ennis is scheduled for sentencing June 3. The case was investigated by the FBI and the IRS, with assistance from the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Army Criminal Investigative Division Fraud Team and Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the Department of Defense.

The SMDC is built upon a lengthy history of achievement in space and missile defense. Since 1957, when the Army created the first program office for ballistic missile defense, the command has dedicated itself to missile defense research, development and deployment. In December 1962, the command made history with the first successful intercept of an ICBM reentry vehicle with the Nike-Zeus. History was repeated in the 1980s with a new non-nuclear technology. The kinetic energy concept of “hitting a bullet with a bullet” was first proven in June 1984 with the intercept of an ICBM warhead in the Homing Overlay Experiment.

In 1987, the Flexible Lightweight Agile Guided Experiment confirmed the concept against shorter-range tactical missiles. Nearly a decade later, the command demonstrated the missile defense applications of directed energy systems. In February 1996, the Mid Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser destroyed a short-range rocket in flight.
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