The former EyakTek employee accused of bribery and money laundering appeared in federal court Tuesday in Washington. Harold Babb’s attorney is trying to get him released on bond before he goes to trial, but Judge Magistrate Deborah Robinson says she’ll decide that next week. First, Babb’s lawyer will get to review tapes the government has, which prosecutors say show Babb engaging in illegal activities.
Babb was arrested one week ago Tuesday and accused of scheming with Army Corps of Engineers employees to steal $20 million from government contracts by padding invoices. Prosecutors also allege they were planning to steer a huge $700 million contract to a favored company.
The government wants to detain Babb. Prosecutors argued he’s a flight risk because he’s traveled internationally recently and might have money stashed in hiding. U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson says they have Babb caught on video and audio tapes getting in a car with a government cooperator, accepting cash, and talking about what he’d done illegally to earn it, and what other illegal acts he planned to commit.
Babb’s lawyer Jeffrey Jacobovitz asked to see and hear the tapes before he finishes making his argument, and Judge Magistrate Deborah Robinson agreed.
They’ll reconvene next Tuesday. Jacobovitz says his client should also be released because he has a medical condition that’s causing him to faint, which the attorney says could be related to something serious like strokes or seizures.
The other three men accused of the scheme with Babb will not see freedom before trial. One didn’t seek bond, and the other two were denied release because Magistrate Judge Robinson says they’re both a flight risk, and one is a danger to society for threatening to kill his brother if he turned him in.