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Louisiana Man, “Mark” McCabe, Arrested on Charges of Receiving Illegal Kickbacks in Afghanistan

Elton Mark McCabe, a Slidell businessman recently freed from a prison in South Sudan, was arrested Thursday on charges of receiving illegal kickbacks and wire fraud in connection with his work as a private contractor in Afghanistan in 2009. McCabe, 52, is former vice president of a company that received subcontracts for U.S. government projects in rebuilding efforts in Kandahar, Afghanistan, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. ~Katherine Sayre - The Times-Picayune

“I’m very excited that Mark McCabe is finally getting out of South Sudan after being held there with no just cause since mid-October,” Vitter said.~Press Release – Office of Senator David Vitter

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – November 12, 2012 – The former vice president of a construction company doing work in Afghanistan was arrested today on allegations of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gratuities from subcontractors during his employment in Afghanistan, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana and unsealed today charges Elton Maurice “Mark” McCabe III, 53, of Slidell, La., with one count of receiving illegal kickbacks and one count of wire fraud.

McCabe said he worked as a private contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq, beginning in 2004, doing construction at military bases. Once his job in Iraq ended, he heard other contractors talking about a country with new investment opportunities: South Sudan. McCabe partnered with an Iraqi friend, Mohammed Oglah, to explore business there, he said.~The Times-Picayune

McCabe and Oglah, who run a construction and consulting company called Diamond Corp. ~Bloomberg Businessweek

According to court documents, McCabe worked for a construction company that received subcontracts from prime contractors to the U.S. government for reconstruction efforts in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  In mid- to late-2009, McCabe allegedly solicited and accepted cash payments and a wire transfer of approximately $53,000 to his wife’s bank account from subcontractors in exchange for awarding subcontracts in connection with U.S. reconstruction projects in Kandahar.

Additionally, in approximately late-2009, McCabe allegedly accepted cash payments and arranged for a contractor’s consultant to wire $20,000 to McCabe’s wife’s bank account in exchange for construction material that belonged to McCabe’s company and that McCabe did not have the authority to sell for his personal benefit.

According to court documents, McCabe used the kickbacks he received from subcontractors to pay for personal family expenses.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Daniel Butler of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, on detail from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).  The case is being investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, SIGAR, FBI, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Air Force Office of Special Investigations and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. (Click HERE for original article)

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