Government Employees Indicted for IT Collusion

Published October 28, 2011

Four men—including two senior employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—were indicted in October for alleged bribery and kickbacks of approximately $20 million in inflated costs added to government contracts over the last couple of years. The alleged collusion involves government contracts with the chief technology officer (CTO) of an unidentified company.

The indictment alleges Harold F. Babb, the CTO of the undisclosed company, made payments directly and indirectly to Michael Alexander and Kerry F. Kahn in excess of $1 million, in exchange for a potential $780 million in government contracts. Babb and Kahn’s son Lee were also indicted.

Among other things, Alexander allegedly received more than $185,000 in cash and checks, a $21,000 Cartier watch, first-class airline tickets, and $1 million for the purchase of a coffee shop for an associate of Alexander’s in South Korea. Khan reportedly received cash, checks, and wire transfers in excess of $5 million; home improvements and renovations for multiple properties; luxury cars for himself, his son, and other family members; furnishings, including flat-screen televisions and computer equipment; high-end liquor; and other items.

“Collusion is really hard to detect without continuous monitoring in place,” said Christine Meyers, an insider-fraud expert and product marketing manager at Attachmate Luminet, an international company specializing in providing information technology solutions for fraud detection and regulatory compliance.

“Organizations that are seeking to get in front of fraud should augment their current layered security model with an analytics engine that can capture details that logs miss and correlate that activity across data channels and information silos. Only by making those connections in real time and performing deep-pattern analysis will agencies be able to ferret out fraud of this type,” she added.

Bruce Edward Walker ([email protected]) is managing editor of InfoTech & Telecom News.