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Ex Navy noncom in Afghanistan took bribes for humanitarian supply deals

A former Navy noncommissioned officer pleaded guilty to accepting about $25,000 in cash bribes from vendors of humanitarian supplies while he served in Afghanistan.

Donald P. Bunch, 46, of Pace, Florida, appeared last week before Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida. 

Bunch pleaded guilty to one count of taking bribes.

In 2009, he worked as a U.S. Navy E8 senior chief at the Humanitarian Assistance Yard (HA Yard) at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. 

The HA Yard bought supplies from Afghan vendors to use for the Emergency Response Program. The program helped U.S. military commanders respond to needs for urgent humanitarian relief.

Bunch’s job was to replenish humanitarian supplies such as rice, beans, and clothes by buying them from pre-qualified local vendors.

He was supposed to rotate the purchases among the Afghan vendors. 

Instead he took a total of about $25,000 from certain vendors and awarded them more “frequent and lucrative contracts,” the DOJ said

Bunch sent the bribes home to his wife in Florida in greeting cards stuffed with cash. They used the money to build a new home, the DOJ said.

The case was investigated by the FBI, SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction), Army CID, DCIS, and the Air Force OSI. 

Bunch is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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