Ft. Bragg vendor pleads guilty to embezzlement conspiracy

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, November 10, 2022

From U.S. Attorney Michael Easley / Eastern District of North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Darryl Sealey, A/K/A, “Tim”, of Fayetteville, pleaded guilty today for his role in a multi-year conspiracy which embezzled government funds. When sentenced next year, Sealey faces up to 60 months in prison, $6,300,000 in restitution, and a $3,500,000 forfeiture judgment.

“This investigation is putting a stop to the culture of fraud that was prevalent on Ft. Bragg,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute those that steal from our government and line their pockets with money meant to support our troops.”

“Today’s plea is a fitting end for those who conspire to defraud the United States Army,” said Special Agent in Charge L. Scott Moreland of the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division’s Major Procurement Fraud Field Office. “The men and women of CID are proud to work with our federal law enforcement partners to protect the financial resources of the U.S. Government from those who commit criminal acts associated with government contracting and purchasing.”

“Collusion between trusted Government employees and contractors tears at the fabric of public trust and will simply not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Dillard, Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Mid-Atlantic Field Office.  “We remain committed, along with our law enforcement partners, to rooting out fraud and corruption and safeguarding the valuable resources entrusted to the Department of Defense by the American Taxpayer.”

According to court records, Sealey operated Aaron’s Supply, Inc., a company selling various supplies for maintenance of equipment and facilities to the Operations and Maintenance Division, Directorate of Public Works (DPW), at Fort Bragg, NC.  Sealey conspired with Morris Cooper, a purchasing agent at DPW to steer contracts for supplies to specific vendors in return for cash payments and gifts, and by inflating prices on supplies, increasing both the profits to the vendor and the cash payment made to Cooper and/or his wife, Beverley Cooper.

Morris and Beverley Cooper were earlier convicted for their roles in the conspiracy, Morris Cooper receiving a sentence of 17 months’ imprisonment, and Beverley Cooper a sentence of probation.  Both agreed to pay $6,300,000 joint and severally in restitution and an order of forfeiture was entered for more than $1.2 million, the amount they agree they personally profited from the conspiracy.

In addition to the Coopers, three former employees of DPW at Ft. Bragg were recently convicted and sentenced for the receipt of bribes from other vendors.  On May 18, 2022, Calvin Jordan was sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment; on October 28, 2022, Stephen Paul Sabato was sentenced to 33 months’ imprisonment; and on November 3, 2022, Edward Crisco was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months and one day, all having received bribes while employed by the federal government.  Sealey’s sentencing is anticipated in March 2023.

Sealey’s plea was entered today before United States Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones, Jr. Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation,  are investigating the case.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:19-CR-328-FL, 5:21-CR-313-M, and 5:22-CR-200-FL.