58ºF

Starke man paid kickbacks for federal defense contracts, authorities say

Man facing federal bribery, wire fraud charges, according to indictment

Booking photo of William Wilson

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Starke man is facing federal bribery and wire fraud charges in connection with a kickback conspiracy for federal defense contracts, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. Marshals arrested 52-year-old William S. Wilson on Oct. 4, and he was booked into the Bradford County Jail.

The I-TEAM has learned that federal prosecutors argued Wilson must stay locked up since his arrest, saying he'd threatened to kill some of the other men charged in the case and threatened to assault witnesses.

According to a federal indictment, Wilson paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks to two men, so he could get government contract work for his personal businesses.

Prosecutors say the kickbacks came in the form of money, as well as gifts of Caribbean cruises and vacations.

The contract involved telecommunications work for the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General. According to the indictment, the men receiving the kickbacks arranged for fake service orders that they used to conceal that they were arranging for Wilson's company to buy equipment at inflated prices and then falsely billed the government for services that were never provided.

The indictment also charges Wilson with paying tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to a federal employee.

A judge had said Wilson could be released on bond, but prosecutors challenged that in court, saying he had made threats against co-defendants in the past and was threatening during his arrest.

A Virginia judge agreed that Wilson should remain in custody.

Earlier this week, the judge ordered that Wilson be moved from Bradford County to Virginia for the next court proceedings.