An Army contracting official was charged Wednesday with trying to extort a half-million dollars in bribes from two executives of a Fairfax, Va., company after a months-long sting operation in which one of the executives wore a wire.
James Glenn Warner, 44, of Manassas, Va., appeared briefly in federal district court in Alexandria, telling a judge that he could not afford a lawyer after prosecutors informed him he was being charged with bribery. He was ordered detained until another hearing Friday.
Detailed in a 34-page criminal complaint by FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Pollack, Warner’s alleged misdeeds and efforts to avoid detection range from cunning to comical. He initially communicated his demand on a note tucked inside a restaurant menu and at one point patted down one of the executives for a recording device, according to the affidavit. But he missed it and was caught on video discussing bribe money, according to the affidavit.
Warner, a retired sergeant major in the Army who works as a civilian senior program manager and contracting officer’s representative at the Pentagon, first brought up the bribes in October 2014, when he asked the two executives to go to lunch at the Pentagon City mall, according to the affidavit. He was waiting for them there at 11:30 a.m. — wearing sunglasses and drinking a margarita — and insisted that both turn off their cellphones and communicate only by typing in a notes application on his phone, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit says Warner claimed there had been malfeasance at the executives’ company — which is not named — and that he could destroy files containing information about that malfeasance. By the affidavit’s account, Warner also promised to help the company win an Army contract.
At the time, the company helped the Army manage its Army Training Requirements and Resources Systems — an online training-management program — although its contract for that is set to expire in August. Winning a renewal would mean $100 million to $120 million in work for the company, according to the affidavit.