Washington, DC - A former U.S. government contractor pleaded guilty Friday to making counterfeit training certificates for individuals seeking employment on government contracts in Afghanistan.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John F. Sopko, Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office, Director Frank Robey of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s (CID) Major Procurement Fraud Unit and Assistant Director Robert Johnson of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division made the announcement.
Antonio Jones, 40, of Yorktown, Virginia, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements before U.S. District Judge Donald C. Coggins of the District of South Carolina. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
As part of his guilty plea, Jones admitted to making and/or causing to have made false Department of Transportation hazardous material (HAZMAT) training certificates to help an individual get a job handling HAZMAT in Afghanistan. A South Carolina-based contractor accepted the fake HAZMAT certificate as proof that Jones’s client had attended a training course prescribed by federal regulation and was otherwise suitable for employment when in fact, the client had not attended the HAZMAT course or any other HAZMAT course, Jones admitted.
Jones was charged in a 13-count indictment on Dec. 12, 2018. The indictment alleges that he and a co-conspirator purported to offer job placement services to individuals seeking employment in Afghanistan and elsewhere. In fact, according to the indictment, they created fake training certificates and false resumes to make their clients appear more qualified than they actually were, and used the false documents to apply for jobs on their clients’ behalf.
This case was investigated by SIGAR, the FBI, DCIS and the U.S. Army CID. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Michael P. McCarthy of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.