A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a 49-year-old former Army Corps of Engineers employee from Springfield to 8 years and 4 months in prison for soliciting and accepting bribes while in Afghanistan.
Mark E. Miller was charged July 18, and the judge accepted his guilty plea in November.
Miller worked for the Army Corps from 2005 to 2015, including his time in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012. As a site manager overseeing a road project, he solicited $280,000 in bribes from an Afghan company, promising smooth sailing through the contract process. He then sought an additional $40,000 in bribes after the contract was no longer active.
With the help of a partner, Miller was able to smuggle the cash in to the base and mail home 50 envelopes of $3,000 to his mother and stepfather. According to the complaint, he told them he made the money buying and selling guitars in Afghanistan.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Harris asked for more than 11 years, while Miller’s attorney, Daniel Noll, asked the judge to sentence his client to two years.
Judge Richard Mills chose his sentence based on variety of factors, including his willingness to cooperate with the government. After his prison sentence, Miller will serve three years on supervised release and his sentence will be reduced by 54 days per year for good behavior.
Mills ordered Miller to forfeit a Harley Davidson motorcycle he bought with the bribes, as well as $180,000 cash.
Two charges unrelated to the case, stalking and violating a protection order, are pending against Miller in Sangamon County Circuit Court.