OKLAHOMA CITY — A Lawton woman and a Fort Sill Army employee have been indicted on federal public corruption allegations.
Earlier this week, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Candy Hanza, 50, of Lawton, and Alfred Palma, 64, of Duncan, with bribery, according to an announcement by Robert J. Troester, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. Hanza also is charged with wire fraud and money laundering.
According to the indictment, Palma, a U.S. Army employee and public official, was the manager of the Institutional Training Directed Lodging and Meals (“ITDLM”) program at Fort Sill, through which he booked hotel rooms for soldiers who attended on-post trainings. Hanza, then the general manager of a local hotel, is accused of paying Palma to direct soldiers to the hotel. The indictment alleges that Hanza then personally profited through her own scheme to defraud the hotel owners and laundered the resulting proceeds.
Hanza and Palma will be arraigned in federal court.
If found guilty of bribery, Hanza and Palma each face up to 15 years in federal prison, a fine of $250,000 or three times the monetary value of the bribes, and up to three years of supervised release.
Hanza additionally faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release if convicted of wire fraud, as well as up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release if convicted of money laundering.
This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division and the Department of Defense Contract Audit Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia E. Barry is prosecuting.
Hanza had served on the Medicine Park Economic Development Authority until resigning in mid-April. A week later, she took the oath as a trustee on the Medicine Park’s Board of Trustees and, as of Thursday afternoon, remains on the board. She is also identified by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as co-owner of Nice Ice Baby Daiquiri Bar in Lawton and Medicine Park, AmeriCab Taxi and Hanza’s Soldier Express L.L.C. among other entities.