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Bedford executive pleads to scamming Marines

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

The co-owner of a Bedford IT firm pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking part in a scheme to steal a quarter of a million dollars from the U.S. Marine Corps to fund home renovations.

James A. McDonald, who at the time was co-owner of Namtek, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in the bribery scheme involving at least two public officials and a North Carolina contractor, according to court records.

Starting in 2008, McDonald conspired with two public officials, who are unnamed in the complaint filed in court, to get a $32 million contract for Namtek to perform IT services at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, according to the complaint.

McDonald agreed to hire William Thompson, a contractor, as a subcontractor for the work, though Thompson did not perfume anything within the scope of the IT project. Instead of doing construction for the IT firm, Thompson was allegedly doing home renovations for Public Official 1.

“On or about August 28, 2008, prior to the award of the USMC contract to Namtek, McDonald submitted a quote to Public Official 1 for construction-related work to be completed by (Thompson’s construction company) C&D at Camp Lejeune. The following day, Public Official 2 directed McDonald to add specific language to the quote in order to give the appearance that the work described in the quote was within the scope of the IT services contract,” the complaint states.

The public officials directed McDonald to pay close to $250,000 in invoices to Thompson for work he supposedly did under the contract. During the life of Namtek’s contract with the USMC, from 2008 to 2011, the company billed more than $26 million to the government, according to the complaint.

Thompson was sentenced earlier this year to his role in the scheme. After being contacted by FBI agents in March of 2018 about the investigation, Thompson texted Public Official 1 and McDonald to alert them, according to a Department of Justice statement. He then deleted the texts. He was sentenced in February to 18 months in prison on an obstruction of justice conviction.

McDonald started the company in 2006 with partner, Keith Turgeon, a veteran. The company reported $500,000 in sales in the first year by focusing in federal contacts. Turgeon did not reposed to a request for comment.

McDonald is due back in court on July 20 for his sentencing hearing.

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