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Former Air Force Master Sgt. Patrick Boyd sentenced in Bagram bribery case

Former U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison for Receiving Bribes in Return for the Award of Contracts at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON – A former Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force was sentenced yesterday to 40 months in prison for conspiring to and receiving bribes from military contractors in return for the award of Department of Defense contracts during his deployment to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Patrick W. Boyd, 44, of Gainesville, Fla., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the Northern District of Illinois.   In addition to his prison term, Boyd was sentenced to one year of supervised release and was ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution.  

Boyd pleaded guilty in June 2008 to a superseding indictment charging him with three counts of conspiracy to commit bribery and three counts of bribery.   According to the superseding indictment and other documents filed in the case, Boyd served as a warranted contracting officer in Afghanistan from September 2004 to January 2005.   While serving in Afghanistan, Boyd and his co-conspirators made separate agreements with three military contractors – Naweed Bakhshi Company, Northern Reconstruction Organization and Top’s Construction – to receive $30,000 cash from each company in return for the award of Read the remainder of this entry »

Mentors, mercenaries and other news

Sheikh hires mercenary force to secure Emirates
Abu Dhabi – May 15, 2011 – The billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, a scandal-plagued American security firm accused of abuses in Iraq, has been hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops.

Erik Prince, who came to live in the United Arab Emirates last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the US, is using $529 million from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the defacto ruler of the UAE, to complete the mission, according to corporate documents, former employees on the project and US officials.

The force is intended to conduct special operations inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts.

Such troops could be deployed if the UAE faced unrest, or was challenged by democracy protests in its crowded labour camps in the oil fields or like those sweeping the Arab world this year.

The UAE hopes the troops can also blunt the aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe.  (Click HERE for article)

Afghan intelligence says children recruited to conduct Taliban suicide attacks
(AP) – KABUL, Afghanistan – May 15, 2011 – The orders from their religious teacher were clear: Go to Afghanistan, strap on a suicide vest and kill foreign forces.

With that, 9-year-old Ghulam Farooq left his home in Pakistan with three other would-be boy bombers and headed into eastern Afghanistan.

They were told there would be two members of the Taliban waiting for them at the Torkham border crossing in Nangarhar province. Instead, members of the Afghan intelligence service who had been tipped to the boys’ plans arrested them at the border.

“Our mullah told us that when we carried out our suicide attacks, all the people around us would die, but we would stay alive,” Farooq said Saturday, sitting inside a juvenile detention facility in the Afghan capital. (Click HERE for article)

Six Individuals Charged for Providing Material Support to the Pakistani Taliban
(DoJ) – MIAMI – May 14, 2011 – Six individuals located in South Florida and Pakistan have been indicted in the Southern District of Florida on charges of providing financing and other material support to the Pakistani Taliban, a designated foreign terrorist organization. The charges were announced today by Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami Field Office, and the members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

Read the remainder of this entry »

DoJ hands down more indictments against 2 DoD contractors & adds 2 soldiers

Two Military Officials, Two Contractors and Contracting Company Indicted for Alleged Roles in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to DOD Contract in Afghanistan

Two U.S. military officials deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, two Department of Defense (DOD) contractors and a contracting company were charged late yesterday for their roles in an alleged bribery and money laundering scheme related to the award of a DOD trucking services contract in Afghanistan, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni for the District of Hawaii.

According to an indictment returned on June 8, 2010, in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, retired U.S. Army Sgt. Charles O. Finch, 44, of Hawaii, accepted a $50,000 bribe in the fall of 2004 to influence the award of a DOD trucking contract to AZ Corporation, an Afghan contracting company. The indictment alleges that the owners of AZ Corporation, brothers Assad John Ramin, 40, and Tahir Ramin, 32, both of Pennsylvania, offered the bribe to Finch. According to the indictment, the bribe was paid through the business account of Finch’s roommate at Bagram, 1st Sgt. Gary M. Canteen, 41, of Delaware, to disguise the nature and source of the payment. Canteen allegedly passed on a portion of the funds to Finch. According to the indictment, shortly after the money was delivered to Canteen, Finch recommended the award of the contract to AZ Corporation, which was awarded the contract. Read the remainder of this entry »

One Dead After U.S. Military Base In Afghanistan Attacked (updated 03/17/10)

March 15, 2010
Ayinde O. Chase – AHN Editor

Kabul, Afghanistan (AHN) – One person was killed during a rocket attack on the largest military base in Afghanistan on Monday.

The rocket landed inside Bagram Airfield in northern Kabul. The U.S. and NATO base which can house 20,000 military personnel is no stranger to attacks.

The nationality of the person slain has not been released. However the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack on the Bagram Air Base. Bagram is also one of the main NATO air-supply routes into Afghanistan and it’s headquarters for the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. Read the remainder of this entry »

3 US Troops Plead Guilty In Fraud Case Over Defense Contracts

3 US Troops Plead Guilty In Fraud Case Over Defense Contracts

6-19-09 7:22 PM EDT

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES-Two U.S. military officials pleaded guilty to bribery, fraud and conspiracy charges relating to Defense Department contracts in Afghanistan, and a third pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property in connection with the case, the Justice Department said Friday.
Four Defense Department contractors and four affiliated contracting companies also were indicted and accused of paying bribes to the military officials.

Christopher P. West, an Army Major from Chicago who served in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2005, pleaded guilty to three counts of bribery and five counts of conspiracy. West admitted accepting $90,000 from contractors for awarding contracts at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. He also admitted accepting cash from contractors for certifying inflated numbers of bunkers and barriers delivered at Bagram, causing the government to pay for goods never received.

Patrick W. Boyd, an Air Force master sergeant from Rockledge, Fla., who served as a contracting officer at Bagram in 2004 and 2005, pleaded guilty to three counts of bribery and three counts of conspiracy for accepting $90,000 from contractors for the award of contracts. He also admitted receiving $25,000 from a contractor for the award of a telecommunications infrastructure contract at Bagram.

Charles Patton, a friend of West and an Army sergeant from Chicago, pleaded guilty to charges of receiving stolen property. He admitted receiving shipments of cash from West in 2004 and 2005, while West was in Afghanistan. Patton hid the money in his home until West returned to U.S.

West, Boyd and Patton agreed to pay restitution of $500,000, $130,000 and $ 100,000, respectively, as well as forfeit any fraud-related assets and cooperate with the investigation.

Also indicted were brothers and U.S. citizens Assad John Ramin and Tahir Ramin; their companies AZ Corp. and Top’s Construction; Afghan citizen Noor Alam and his company Northern Reconstruction Organization; and Abdul Qudoos Bakhshi, an Afghan, and his company Naweed Bakhshi Co. on bribery, fraud and conspiracy charges.  (click HERE for original article)