U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Michigan
Eastern District of Michigan
For Immediate Release
March 26, 2014
Barbara L. McQuade, United States Attorney
Contact: Gina Balaya
Former Tacom Employee Pleads Guilty To Receiving Unlawful Pay and Exporting Firearms
A retired U.S. Army major and former civilian employee of the Tank Automotive Command in Warren pleaded guilty today to receiving unlawful pay while working for the military and to unlawfully shipping firearms to South Africa without a license, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by William Hayes, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations; Brian Reihms, Special Agent in Charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; Frank Robey, Director, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; and Daryl McCrary, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
During a hearing before U.S. District Judge Sean Cox, Dennis Haag, 58, of Lenox, Michigan, admitted that in late 2011 and early 2012, he and his wife Judi Haag received about $40,000 to represent a South African firm named V.R. Laser that had an interest in obtaining military contracts. There was no evidence that V.R. Laser actually obtained any contract as a result of this arrangement. At the time of the offense, Haag was employed at TACOM with responsibility for the Army’s Humvee vehicles.
Dennis Haag was also a federally licensed firearms dealer, and admitted that on multiple occasions from 2008-2012 he unlawfully exported sport rifles and rifle parts to a South African acquaintance who worked with V.R. Laser.
Judi Haag, 52, also of Lenox, pleaded guilty to assisting in her husband’s receipt of unlawful pay.
U.S. Attorney McQuade said, “It is disturbing when a military employee receives money from an outside source in a foreign country and illegally ships firearms overseas without a license. These kinds of conflicts of interest and violations of law expose our military service members and even our national security to potential harm.”
SAC Reihms said that “The Defense Criminal Investigative Service is dedicated to ensuring that the Pentagon's programs are operated in an ethical and legal way and allegations involving a conflict of interest will always be investigated fully."
Director Robey said that "Today's guilty plea is another example of our agents vigorously pursuing those who attempt to defraud the U.S. Government. No matter how hard they try to cover up their tracks, the Major Procurement Fraud Unit will root them out and hold them accountable."
Acting SAC Hayes said that “U.S. export controls are in place to prohibit the unrestricted trade of defense articles as part of a broad effort to prevent these items from falling into the wrong hands. One of HSI's highest priorities is to prevent illicit procurement networks from illegally obtaining U.S. origin defense articles and controlled dual-use technology."
Acting SAC McCrary said that “ATF takes the illegal exportation, possession, transfer of gun barrels, parts, and weapons very seriously. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and investigate any individual or company that engages in this type of activity, as this investigation reflects.”
Based on his guilty pleas Dennis Haag is facing a maximum of 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,250,000. He will also lose his federal firearms license and will be proposed for debarment from participating in any future contract work involving the federal government. Judi Haag faces a year in prison, a fine of $100,000, and will also be proposed for debarment.
The case was investigated by agents of HSI, ATF, Department of Defense OIG and Army CID. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Helland.