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Neil Gordon (POGO): ‘Stoner Arms Dealer’ Gets 14-Year Ban from Federal Contracting

Efraim is in your extended network By NEIL GORDON

June 2, 2011 – (POGO) – The story of Efraim Diveroli took a new turn in March when the U.S. Army debarred Diveroli and his company, AEY Inc., from federal contracting for 14 years. POGO first blogged about the 22-year-old arms dealer from Miami Beach three years ago when his incredible story first made the news (here’s his MySpace profile from March 2008).

At that time, the Army had suspended Diveroli amid allegations that he supplied defective gun cartridges, some of which had been illegally exported from China, under a $300 million Army contract. Diveroli and several of his business partners eventually pleaded guilty. In January of this year, Diveroli was sentenced to four years in prison.

The Army finally lowered the boom on Diveroli with a 14-year ban on doing business with the federal government. The Army also imposed a ten-year debarment on several of Diveroli’s associates and the web of companies they set up to reap the fortunes of the international arms trade. Read the remainder of this entry »

Secret squirrels squandering tax dollars & other news

One project that attracted high-level scrutiny last year: a program started by DoD senior civilian strategist Michael Furlong that hired professional contractors to scoop up information in Afghanistan. Furlong, an ex-Army officer, said through his attorney Nancy Luque that the project was approved by Army Gen. David McKiernan, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and by the newly nominated Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus. – JIEDDO: The Manhattan Project that bombed

In effort to stop roadside bombs, Pentagon hires 1,666 contractors
Peter Cary & Nancy A. Youssef – (Center for Public Integrity & McClatchy Newspapers) – WASHINGTON – March 27, 2011 – Launched in February 2006 with an urgent goal — to save U.S. soldiers from being killed by roadside bombs in Iraq — a small Pentagon agency ballooned into a bureaucratic giant fueled by that flourishing arm of the defense establishment: private contractors.

An examination by the Center for Public Integrity and McClatchy of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization revealed an agency so dominated by contractors that the ratio of contractors to government employees has reached six to one.

A JIEDDO former director, Lt. Gen. Michael Oates, acknowledged that such an imbalance raised the possibility that contractors in management positions could approve proposals or payments for other contractors. Oates said the ratio needed to be reduced.

The 1,900-person agency has spent nearly $17 billion on hundreds of high-tech and low-tech initiatives and had some successes, but it’s failed to significantly improve soldiers’ ability to detect roadside bombs, which have become the No. 1 killer of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. (Click HERE for article)

In the line of duty
Former cop Mark Mitchell’s exploits in the Middle East sound like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster – but has he got what it takes to make it as a politician?

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Misconduct and other missteps in the news

‘Personal misconduct’ tied to 1-star’s firing
By Bruce Rolfsen – Staff writer – January 16, 2011 – A general lost his joint command because he inappropriately touched female subordinates and made off-colored remarks in private and public meetings, according to the Pentagon’s top investigator.

Brig. Gen. Scott Chambers oversaw the 2,400-employee Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia from October 2009 until his firing Dec. 9 by the head of the DLA, Vice Adm. Alan Thompson.

Thompson cited “personal misconduct” uncovered by the Defense Department Inspector General as the reason for Chambers’ dismissal. The inspector general had investigated Chambers, who has 27 years of service, after Troop Support staff members filed complaints against him. The report does not specify how many workers contacted the inspector general, but statements in the report indicate at least two made complaints.

Chambers has declined requests for comment twice, immediately after his dismissal and after Air Force Times obtained the inspector general’s findings Dec. 27 through a Freedom of Information Act request. He is now serving as a special assistant to the commander of the Air Force District of Washington, D.C., while Air Force Secretary Michael Donley reviews his case.

The 14-page report, based on interviews with 23 witnesses and Chambers, details several instances where Chambers — either through remarks or gestures — made the men and women under his supervision uncomfortable.

Military officials heavily redacted the report, including the names of the witnesses and complainants as well as a page of allegations that Chambers was cleared of. (Click HERE for article)

How Did a Marine Corps Food Contract Grow to $1.2 Billion? 
Noel Brinkerhoff – January 15, 2011 – The Department of Defense is on the hook for paying more than $1 billion just to feed the U.S. Marine Corps, now that a contract with a France-based company has swelled with added costs.

What was supposed to cost $881 million is now looking like $1.2 billion, making the deal with catering company Sodexo the largest-ever domestic military food service contract in procurement history.

Again and again modifications were made to the Sodexo arrangement, causing a 36% increase in costs. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has questioned whether all the changes were necessary.  (Click HERE for article)

2 men sentenced to probation for helping unravel $300 million Pentagon ammunition fraudBy The Associated Press (CP) – MIAMI – January 13, 2011 – Two men who helped investigators unravel fraud in a $300 million Pentagon ammunition contract have been sentenced to probation instead of prison.  U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard in Miami agreed Thursday with prosecutors that David Packouz and Alexander Podrizki were vital in helping the U.S. convict two key people. Packouz is on probation for 14 months and Podrizki for 10 months. They could have spent years in prison. 

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Rogue jurors, indictments, plea deals etc.. – the news

Employee of Federal Contractor Charged with Disclosing National Defense Information to National News Reporter
August 27, 2010 – WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia has returned an indictment charging Stephen Jin-Woo Kim with unlawfully disclosing national defense information to a reporter for a national news organization and making false statements to the FBI.

The indictment, which was unsealed today, was announced by David S. Kris, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division; Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; and Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office.

Kim, age 43, was an employee of a federal contractor who was on detail to the State Department at the time of the alleged disclosure. Kim made his initial appearance today in court in the District of Columbia. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for the unlawful disclosure of national defense information and up to five years in prison for the making of false statements.

According to the indictment, in June 2009, Kim knowingly and willfully disclosed information contained in an intelligence report classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) to a reporter for a national news organization who was not entitled to receive it. The classified information related to the national defense, specifically, intelligence sources and methods and intelligence concerning the military capabilities and preparedness of a particular foreign nation. (Click HERE for article)

The Brooks trial: When jurors go rogue
Harnesslink -26-Aug-2010 – Andrew Cohen – It is by far the least surprising legal development of the year that there would be trouble inside the jury room in the corporate fraud trial of David H. Brooks, the titular head of the Perfect World Enterprises and Bulletproof Enterprises harness racing empire.

The white-collar case with the red-light tinge has been a circus, a freak show, and a mess since its inception. And I’m quite sure I’m not the only one who sees grand irony in the fact that Brooks’ jury might get hung up because one or more of its members may be cheating on the oath of service.

Brooks’ zany trial (involving two defendants, actually, allegations of hundreds of millions of dollars of fraud, and decades in prison as a potential sentence) was far too long. And long trials typically beget long deliberations. But it’s been three weeks or so and jurors should have been back with a verdict by now. Last week, the federal judge/zookeeper who presides over U.S. v. Brooks received a note from a juror who wrote that some colleague “sit there and read testimony that doesn’t relate to the charges we are discussing.” U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert gently reminded the panel that they all needed to stay focused upon deliberations.

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