Sentences of 24 and 18 months incarceration, respectively, were handed down by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.
The Stafford County residents admitted that McGrade was a
contract employee for the Department of State and performed the role of a
contract specialist for an office that
awarded construction contracts for work done at U.S. embassies
worldwide, court records showed. Collinsworth worked at one of the companies that received
In 2006, the defendants married, but did not tell others at the Department of State. The defendants started a company, the Sterling Royale Group, or SRG, with McGrade being the president and Collinsworth the vice-president and project manager.
late 2007, McGrade caused a State Department contracting officer to sign
a contract between the Department of State and SRG, when McGrade failed
to disclose her role in SRG, her marriage or that proper contracting competitive procedures had not been
followed," the press release stated.
The contract made SRG eligible to receive task orders for
work to be done at embassies and McGrade began steering work to the
company. She acted as the contract negotiator between
the Department of State engineers responsible for getting the jobs
done, on the one hand, and Collinsworth, who was acting on behalf of SRG
and the subcontractors, on the other.
"Between 2008 and 2011, McGrade caused Department of State contracting officers to sign 17 task orders awarding work worth almost $53 million," the press release said.
In 2010, the defendants also lied about their marriage to investigators conducting McGrade’s background investigation regarding renewal of her security clearance.
the summer of 2011 a news article disclosed the defendants’ marriage,
and the Department of State terminated her employment. The Department
of State, however, had paid SRG about $39 million,
and after the defendants had paid their subcontractors, they still had
millions of dollars. Among other things, they bought houses, a
condominium, a yacht, a Lexus automobile, jewelry and a Steinway piano
with the fraudulently obtained money, court records showed.
The defendants were ordered to forfeit all of those items in the amount of $7,864,795.