Ex-airman gets 30 months in Eielson, JBER contracting bribery case

An F-35 plane
An F-35A Lightning II fighter jet at Eielson Air Force Base. (Department of Defense DVIDS)

A former airman has been sentenced to more than two years in prison, after taking bribes for bidding information on contracts at Alaska’s U.S. Air Force bases.

The federal Department of Justice announced the 30-month sentence for 33-year-old Brian Lowell Nash II on Wednesday.

Nash was a senior enlisted airman with Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s 673rd Contracting Squadron at the time of the offenses in 2019. He was arrested last year along with Best Choice Construction LLC owners Ryan Dalbec and Riahnna Nadem on charges including conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.

According to the DOJ statement, Dalbec and Nadem had offered Nash more than $460,000 for confidential bidding information on government projects. Those details helped North Dakota-based Best Choice win more than $8.5 million in federal contracts, for construction at JBER and work linked to the arrival of 54 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks.

“At the time Nash was caught he had received approximately $47,000 of the agreed upon bribe payments, much of which he laundered through family members to conceal the nature and source of the funds,” Justice officials wrote.

Nash ultimately pleaded guilty to conspiracy and acceptance of bribes by a public official. He was also sentenced by federal Judge Ralph Beistline to spend three years on supervised release and forfeit the funds he received.

Antony Jung is the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Anchorage field office, which helped investigate the case. He promised Wednesday to prosecute similar offenses involving military contracting fraud.

“In a severe violation of the public’s trust, the defendant chose to line his own pockets at the expense of taxpayers, and undermined the government’s competitive contracting practices,” Jung said. “The FBI will continue to investigate and disrupt such schemes and hold accountable those who seek to use taxpayer dollars for private gain.”

Federal officials said Dalbec and Nadem, who are married, have pleaded guilty to felonies in the case. Their sentencing will take place later this year.

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