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Donald Garst sentenced to 30 months for smuggling kickbacks from Bagram to US

Former Department of Defense Contractor Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Smuggling Kickback Proceeds from Afghanistan to the United States

Donald Garst, 51, who was in the Army for 4 years and the National Guard for 23 years, was a manager for a private sector contracting company doing business with the U.S. at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.  His job was to evaluate subcontracts awarded to Afghan companies.  Garst met Abdul Mukhtar Abdul Kubar (Mukhtar), the owner of an Afghan contracting company and agreed to steer subcontracts to Mukhtar in exchange for money.  Garst agreed to receive $610,000 in kickbacks, but only actually received $210,000. The scheme was discovered when Garst attempted to send $150,000 in cash to his ex-wife via DHL overnight service.  The package was confiscated and Garst quickly confessed to the kickback scheme.   ~Sending Your Ex-Wife a Package of Cash from Afghanistan May Get You in Trouble 

DoJ – February 12, 2013 – A former employee of a Department of Defense contracting company at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, was sentenced today to serve 30 months in prison for attempting to smuggle $150,000 in kickback proceeds he received for steering U.S. government subcontracts to an Afghan company, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom of the District of Kansas.

One of them, AC FIRST theatre RPAT (redistribution property accountability team) manager Don Garst, said, “Jason Welch was the best Instructor that I have had in 29 years of military service or as a contractor. ~ California-based National Crane Training was recruited to provide NCCCO training and testing for crane operators at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan

Under this task order, the AECOM-CACI Technologies Inc. joint venture, AC FIRST LLC., will provide tactical vehicle and equipment maintenance, facilities management and maintenance, supply and inventory management, and transportation services in support of the 3-401st Army Field Support Brigade at multiple locations across Afghanistan. The task order continues a program currently held and performed by AECOM for nearly five years. ~AECOM joint venture awarded maintenance and supply services task order worth up to US$378 million over five years

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Bagram Contractor Owes $2.9M in Mercenary Suit

(Courthouse News) – KNOXVILLE, Tenn. –  January 22, 2013 – A defense contractor accused of sending mercenaries to loot equipment for Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan owes $2.9 million, a jury ruled.      MAKS General Trading & Contracting Co., a Kuwait company, won the verdict after a three-week trial against Tenessee-based EODT Technology.

The federal complaint alleged that EODT hired MAKS as a subcontractor in 2009 to provide security and build temporary homes for U.S. troops in a construction compound in Kabul.

MAKS said it was halfway through its job when EODT “deployed a team of paramilitaries equipped with assault weapons” to steal 90 homes in a “military-styled invasion.”

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Leaked Memo: Afghan ‘Burn Pit’ Could Wreck Troops’ Hearts, Lungs

A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield, January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with "long-term" health effects on soldiers at Bagram. Photo: U.S. Army

By Spencer Ackerman  @ Wired.com

A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield, January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with “long-term” health effects on soldiers at Bagram.

For years, U.S. government agencies have told the public, veterans and Congress that they couldn’t draw any connections between the so-called “burn pits” disposing of trash at the military’s biggest bases and veterans’ respiratory or cardiopulmonary problems. But a 2011 Army memo obtained by Danger Room flat-out stated that the burn pit at one of Afghanistan’s largest bases poses “long-term adverse health conditions” to troops breathing the air there. Read the remainder of this entry »

Red Star’s Bagram contract extended again

Walter Pincus – (Washington Post) – March 20, 2012 – A heavily redacted notice posted recently by the Defense Logistics Agency discloses that for [deleted] millions of dollars, Red Star Enterprises Ltd. will continue for [time period deleted] delivering roughly 10 million gallons of jet fuel a month to Bagram Air Base for aircraft flying missions that support the fighting in Afghanistan. (Click HERE for notice PDF)

Red Star, the Gibraltar-registered firm that is owned by the French wife of an elusive California businessman, Douglas Edelman, who once ran a bar and hamburger shop in Kyrgyzstan, and Erkin Bekbolotov, Edelman’s then-35-year-old Kyrgyz partner, has held the contract for more than seven years.

The firm’s jet fuel contract for Bagram was supposed to expire on Aug. 31, 2011, but it was extended for six months to give U.S. officials time to award the permanent contract put up for bid in November 2010. That approach was modified in February 2012, when the contracting officer extended Red Star an additional two months because “the source selection process was not expected to be completed in enough time to allow a new contractor to begin performance.”

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Charles O. Finch & Gary M. Canteen sentenced for bribery scheme at Bagram

US Army Sergeant Major and Former Sergeant Sentenced to Prison for Bribery Conspiracy at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – January 20, 2012 – A former sergeant and a sergeant major in the U.S. Army, who were deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, were sentenced to 51 months and 31 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in a bribery scheme involving the award of a Department of Defense (DOD) trucking contract, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced.

Former Sergeant Charles O. Finch, 45, of Milalani, Hawaii, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi in the District of Hawaii to 51 months in prison and three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution to the DOD. Sergeant Major Gary Canteen, 42, of Delaware, was sentenced today by Judge Kobayashi in the District of Hawaii to 31 months in prison and three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Defense.

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