On January 16, 2024, Cindy McAleese pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to conspiracy to commit offense against the United States. As outlined in court filings, McAleese—a civilian contracting officer with the U.S. Army since 2012 and stationed at Fort Drum, New York—received and accepted tangible and intangible things of value for official acts performed on behalf of conspirator Sean O'Sullivan and O’Sullivan’s business, Sierra Delta Contracting LLC (SDC). These official acts included recommending that certain U.S. Army contracts were 100 percent set aside for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs), making decisions regarding the acceptance of work performed by SDC to facilitate payment to SDC, and helping SDC obtain additional Government contracts. McAleese entered the guilty plea pursuant to a pretrial diversion program whereby the guilty plea may be withdrawn and the charges dismissed should McAleese successfully complete and adhere to the program’s terms and conditions.
O'Sullivan previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official. O'Sullivan also executed a civil settlement agreement on behalf of himself, SDC, and another company owned by O’Sullivan, SOS, Inc. In this agreement, the parties agreed to pay the United States $690,542.68 to resolve civil False Claims Act fraud allegations. As outlined in court filings, O'Sullivan conspired to fraudulently obtain Government contracts for SDC that were set aside for SDVOSBs that SDC was not eligible to obtain. As a result, SDC received over $3 million from various U.S. Army contracts and nearly $308,000 in revenue from a St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation contract. O'Sullivan also pleaded guilty for their role in providing bribes to McAleese in exchange for preferential treatment.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; Army Criminal Investigative Division; Small Business Administration OIG; and General Services Administration OIG.