New indictment streamlines charges in Fort Gordon bid-rigging conspiracy case

An Army colonel and his wife accused in a $20 million bid rigging conspiracy case waived their presence at a Wednesday hearing and entered not guilty pleas to charges lodged in a new indictment.

 

The superseding indictment returned Feb. 7 against Col. Anthony Roper and Audra Roper list 13 charges on procurement integrity fraud, bribery, accessory after the fact, false statements and obstruction of justice. Of all the charges, the last one carries the most punishing potential penalty of up to 20 years.

The Ropers were initially indicted in July also with a former defense contractor. Dwayne O. Fulton and another man, retired Army officer Calvin Lawyer, pleaded guilty in November in U.S. District Court, admitting their involvement in a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain $20 million in contracts at Fort Gordon.

Roper is accused of misusing his responsibility for overseeing the building and modernization of the Army’s information and communications network at Fort Gordon to steer contracts to Lawyer and his company, Communications Research Engineering and Consultant Group. In exchange for nearly $200,000 in bribes, Roper is accused of rigging bids.

According to the new indictment, Roper is accused of procurement integrity fraud on four occasions between Jan. 11, 2013, and March 25, 2015, by passing confidential bid information to another person.

Audra Roper is accused of accessory after the fact for allegedly lying to criminal investigators and submitting fraudulent documents in response to a grand jury subpoena.

Her husband is accused of three counts of false statements for allegedly failing to disclose payments from Lawyer and his company on annual financial disclosure reports from 2013 through 2015. She is accused of one count of false statements for allegedly telling investigators she didn’t know anything about Quadar Group, which she allegedly owns, and telling investigators she didn’t know anything about payments Lawyer paid to her husband.

Both are accused of obstruction of justice. They are accused of lying to investigators and submitting fraudulent documents to a federal grand jury between December 2015 and November 2016.

The Ropers, Fulton and Lawyer are all free on bond.

Sentencing dates have not been set for Fulton and Lawyer.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com

 

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