Metal Recycling Company Officer Sentenced to Prison for Making Illicit Payments to an NSA Official

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Adam Wayne Berg, age 49, of Stevenson, Md., to six months in prison followed by one year of supervised release, for making illicit payments of $104,989.04 over two years to an NSA official. Judge Bennett also ordered that Berg: serve six months of his supervised release in home detention with electronic monitoring; perform 100 hours of community service; and pay a $30,000 fine and $104,989.84 in restitution.

Judge Bennett sentenced Berg Bros. Recycling to three years’ probation and ordered that the company pay $104,989.84 in restitution, which was received prior to sentencing, and a fine of $130,000 for making an illicit payment to an NSA official.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; George Ellard, Inspector General of the National Security Agency; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office.

According to Berg’s guilty plea, on December 2, 2003, Robert Adcock, an NSA employee, was designated as the NSA contracting officer’s representative responsible for a waste removal contract, including removal of recyclable metals. Adam Berg was a corporate officer and son of the owner of Berg Bros. Recycling, Inc. located at 1401 West Hamburg Street in Baltimore, which received, processed and sold metal recyclables. Berg handled the company’s finances. Jeffrey Mark Harmon was the company’s president and was responsible for finding customers who brought metals to Berg Bros. and to whom Berg Bros. paid a fee for their metals.

NSA leased an area at Fort Meade from the U.S. Army where it stored copper communications cable, steel couplers for cable connections, discarded metal racks for large computer servers, and other equipment. When the Army told NSA that it wanted the area back, Adcock directed that the metal recyclables be taken to Berg Bros. From March 30 to October 2004, NSA’s storage area was emptied and loads of metal recyclables were taken to Berg Bros. The Berg Bros.’ scale operator recorded NSA as the customer on each ticket, yet Harmon and Adam Berg secretly diverted the payments for these loads to Adcock. To do so, Adcock asked his father to open a bank account for SRK Development, a company Adcock’s father had formed, but which was dormant in 2004. The payments for all of the loads from clearing the Ft. Meade storage area were paid to SRK, either by checks issued to SRK or Adcock would drive to Berg Bros., typically on Friday afternoons, and pick up cash from Harmon or Adam Berg. Adcock receives payments from Berg Bros. over a nearly two year period for NSA metal recycling besides the Ft. Mead metals. In all, between May 2004 and March 2006 Harmon and Adam Berg caused Berg Bros. to make 39 payments to Adcock for loads from NSA totaling $104,989.84.

Jeffrey Mark Harmon, age 45, of Windsor Mill, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiring to make illicit payments to Adcock and was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Judge Bennett also ordered that Harmon: serve six months of his supervised release in home detention with electronic monitoring; perform 100 hours of community service; and pay a $25,000 fine and $4,929.90 in restitution.

Robert Barry Adcock, age 44, of Parkville, Maryland pleaded guilty to conspiring to obtain payments in return for taking actions as an NSA official and to making false statements to conceal the illegal payments from the NSA. Adcock is scheduled to be sentenced on June 3, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the NSA Office of the Inspector General, the FBI and DCIS for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Joyce K. McDonald and Mark Crooks, who prosecuted the case.

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