A former National Security Agency employee was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court to two years' probation for steering more than $770,000 in government contracts to companies in which he and his wife had a financial interest, federal prosecutors said.
U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake ordered Wayne J. Schepens, 37, of Severna Park to serve the first six months of his sentence in home detention and on electronic monitoring, the U.S. attorney's office said. The judge also fined Schepens $100,000.
Schepens, who handled contracts involving military service academies, pleaded guilty Feb. 9 to conflict of interest charges. He could have received a maximum prison sentence of five years.
Prosecutors said Schepens worked for the NSA from 1998 until he resigned July 26. They said a part of his duties at the super-secret security agency at Fort Meade included co-creating and directing a cyber defense exercise. Teams of cadets and other students competed to protect computers from teams of hackers played by NSA employees.
Prosecutors said Schepens ran the competition, decided the scope of work for outside contractors, made recommendations on contracts, and advised whether funds should be obtained through competitive bidding or "as sole source procurements."
At the time, prosecutors said, Schepens set up a company called JLSolutions, and his wife operated as chief executive of two companies - called Schep Air and Engineering, and CDXperts - which were run out of the couple's home.
From March 2003 through July 2005, prosecutors said, the three companies obtained contracts that exceeded $770,000 from the academy at West Point, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y., and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
Prosecutors said that much of the money was deposited into the couple's joint bank account and that Schepens did not file a financial disclosure noting the conflict until he learned of the investigation.