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Two plead guilty in MCLB bribery case

ALBANY, Ga. -- Mitchell D Potts, 48 and Jeffrey S. Philpot, 35, pleaded guilty Wednesday to receiving bribes related to a scheme to funnel freight hauling business to a local transportation company, according to a press release for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Acting Assistant Attorney General, Mythili Raman of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney, Michael J. Moore for the Middle District of Georgia agreed the scheme resulted in the loss of millions of dollars to the United States government.

Potts and Philpot, both of Sylvester, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery to a public official before U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands in the Middle District of Georgia, Albany office.

During their pleas, Potts, the former traffic office supervisor for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, and Philpot, the former lead transportation assistant in the traffic office, admitted to participating in a scheme whereby Potts and Philpot assisted "Person A," the owner of several local commercial trucking companies, in obtaining trucking business from the DLA in exchange for payments of cash and other things of value.

Both Potts and Philpot admitted they took a variety of steps designed to push business to Person A and his companies, including:

  • Delaying shipments for a period of hours or days, thereby reducing the time available to fulfill the shipping request and assuring that it would be awarded to a local trucking company, usually owned by Person A.
  • Short loading shipments awarded to Person A's companies so that it would appear to require more trucks than necessary.
  • Indicating that removable gooseneck (RGN) trailers were required for shipments, which resulted in many loads being directed to Person A's companies because they always had RGNs available.
  • Creating "ghost shipments" where Person A billed the DLA for shipments that were never made.

The defendants admitted to receiving cash payments from Person A when he visited the traffic office, sometimes multiple times each week. Potts also admitted receiving approximately $209,000 in kickbacks from Person A during the roughly three-year scheme. Philpot admitted to receiving approximately $523,000 in cash and other things of value during the same period.

At sentencing, Potts and Philpot each face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of not more than twice the pecuniary loss to the federal government. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Comments

VietVet1 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Ummm two thoughts - 1) seems there would be more individuals either involved in this or knew about it. 2) Looks like the DLA budget can be cut by 10's of million of dollars!

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rock 11 months, 2 weeks ago

How come we never read what the sentences are that are handed out. Michalle Rodriquez was to be sentenced 25 April and nothing in the news. Shelby Janes was to be sentenced and nothing in the news. Please give us the whole news on these Criminals.

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Shinedownfan 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I bet this goes on everywhere at every base. It's so easy to cheat the government. Sucks for you and me who have to pay taxes.

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Amazed2 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Its less than a million no big deal in the Obama budget we just print what we need.

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agirl_25 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I see they are going to be sentenced by Sands...ho hum...they better wrap their wrists for that is probably all they will get....just a slap.

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Drawpu 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Why no explanation of person "A" not being named. What happens to person "A?"

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AnotherMom 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Looks to me like "Person A" is just as guilty as the other two guys. Why wasn't he arrested & charged with a crime?

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agirl_25 11 months, 2 weeks ago

He must be SOMEBODY..and you know how that works. He is probably under the care of a physician (who has a friend who will represent Mr. A) who told the courts that it was not a good time, that the client was too fragile.........we know it worked for the pharmacist who stole all the money...why not give it a try?

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Jacob 11 months, 2 weeks ago

what ever happened to that pharmacist? He must still be out walking amongst us, since you keep bringing him up. Is he?

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HONEYO 11 months, 2 weeks ago

All should be named and charged for stealing period... No one is above the law. Wrong is wrong....

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agirl_25 11 months, 2 weeks ago

WALB named Christopher Whitman as the other fellow...is he Person A? Apparently he has a lot to lose from what they said on their web page:

http://www.walb.com/story/22211351/feds-want-worth-mans-property

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rock 11 months, 2 weeks ago

There has to be more to this than is being reported. The trucks have to be loaded by someone. That means load sheets should have been generated and then signed off by who ever loaded the trucks. Who loaded short and did not report it. Where is the over sight by the DLA command. This should lead to termination of the Command Staff for dereliction of duty. What command give complete control to low level supervisor and does not do any audits. In any military organization the commanding officer is ultimately responsible and this clearly proves this command staff as derelict.

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