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We’re Back and other news

Not-Quite-Lost Shipping Containers May Cost Feds
Lorraine Bailey – (Courthouse News) – May 17, 2013 – A fourth company will join the fight to prove that the government lied about losing 1,000 leased shipping containers so it could keep using them without paying, a federal judge ruled.

Three container companies, CAI International, Cronos Containers and Textainer Equipment Management, had leased shipping containers to TOPtainer, which in turn leased the containers to the U.S. Army for equipment shipments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

On Wednesday, Judge Nancy Firestone with the Court of Federal Claims joined

Capital Lease to the case because it had been Textainer’s supplier.

They claim that the government told TOPtainer that it lost 1,000 when its lease was up, and paid TOPtainer for the loss, but TOPtainer never remitted that money to its suppliers and is now defunct.

The container companies say that the government took the title to their property without paying just compensation.

Capital also “presented undisputed evidence to the court to show that 125 containers that had been owned by Capital and were now the subject of plaintiff Textainer’s claim were never ‘lost,’ but were instead sent to Okinawa, Japan and thus appeared to have been ‘taken’ outside the terms of the master lease,” Judge Firestone wrote. (Click HERE for article) (Click HERE for Judge’s Order)

Soldier Given Second Shot at Suing Gun Maker
Rose Bouboushian – (Courthouse News) – April 3, 2013 – A soldier who was injured when his M2 machine gun exploded and a shell casing pierced his leg will get a chance to hone his federal lawsuit against the gun’s manufacturer.

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Dear DoJ: Name that firm! – the news this week

If you know the names of any of these contractors/firms that the DoJ is protecting, please let us know. ~Forseti
U.S. Army Major Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for False Statements Charge Related to Attempt to Smuggle Currency from Iraq to the United States
WASHINGTON – U.S. Army Major Charles E. Sublett, 46, of Huntsville, Ala., was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for making false statements to a federal agency, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.

Sublett was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Samuel H. Mays in Memphis, Tenn. In addition to his prison term, Sublett was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit $107,900 and 17,120,000 Iraqi dinar. Sublett was indicted on Jan. 5, 2010, following his arrest in Huntsville, and pleaded guilty on July 7, 2010. According to the indictment, Sublett smuggled more than $100,000 in currency, concealed in a shipping package, into the United States from Iraq in January 2005.

According to court documents, Sublett was deployed to Balad Regional Contracting Center on Logistical Support Area (LSA) Anaconda in Iraq from August 2004 through February 2005. LSA Anaconda is a U.S. military installation that was established in 2003 to support U.S. military operations in Iraq. According to the indictment, Sublett served as a contracting officer while deployed to LSA Anaconda. As a contracting officer, Sublett was responsible for, among other things, evaluating and supervising contracts with companies that provide goods and services to the U.S. Army. (Click HERE for article)

DOJ: Army Colonel Admits Conflict Of Interest In Contract Bid
The Department of Justice on Friday said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Gillette pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge for failure to disclose a conflict of interest that involved his role in a United Nations contract.

Gillette, 50 years old, of Orange County, N.Y., on Wednesday pled guilty to engaging in acts as an officer of the executive branch of the U.S. government that affected a personal financial interest. He also agreed to resign his commission with the U.S. Army.

According to the Justice Department’s statement, in December 2004, the United Nations Office for Project Services invited bids for a contract that was eventually awarded to a U.S. air freight forwarder. The contractor is in the business of arranging for the movement of freight for its customers, which include the Department of Defense and private entities. It was also responsible for the delivery of election material from around the world to Iraq.

During the relevant time period, Gillette served on active duty as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He participated, as a U.S. Army officer, in the U.N.’s decision to award the contract to the unnamed company. Gillette helped develop and implement the plan to move election materials to Iraq, including, among other things, coordination with the contractor.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman said the name of the contractor wouldn’t be made public. (Click HERE for article)

Retired Navy captain pleads guilty to conflict-of-interest charge in dealing with defense firm
Tony Perry – October 8, 2010 – A retired Navy captain has pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court to a misdemeanor conflict-of-interest violation in connection with his dealings with a defense contractor before his retirement. 

Patrick Seidel, 51, a veteran submariner, was negotiating with the defense firm about a job while also helping the firm potentially receive a contract with the Navy to provide technology enhancing the service’s anti-submarine program, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. 

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Blackwater, covert crime and the 100k belt buckle in the news

No Afghan trip for 2 ex-Blackwater defendants
NORFOLK –  July 31, 2010 – A federal judge said Friday he will allow a videotaped deposition of an Afghan doctor in the murder case against two former Blackwater security guards. Siding with the government, he ruled against sending the defendants to Afghanistan for the testimony.

The former Blackwater workers, Christopher Drotleff of Virginia Beach and Justin Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, are charged with killing two Afghan citizens and wounding a third after a traffic accident in Kabul in May 2009.

The government contends the two left an Army base without permission and had been drinking that day. Drotleff and Cannon say they fired in self-defense when the Afghans charged at them in a vehicle. (Click HERE for article)

Court rules man has paid restitution
Lynne Hendricks – July 31, 2010 – AMESBURY — A U.S. District Court judge ruled this week that Amesbury resident Paul Arguin, 47, has satisfied his restitution to the U.S. government and should not be liable for the full $3.2 million he was sentenced to pay after pleading guilty to charges of fraud while a consultant for the Air Force.

The former longtime School Committee member has turned over approximately $700,000 to $800,000 in restitution to date, according to the indictment. According to a judge considering Arguin’s request to deem the debt satisfied, that amount is sufficient to compensate the government, given it received a $15 million settlement from Arguin’s employer Dynamic Research Corporations in a related civil suit.

Arguin served a five-year jail sentence for improperly profiting from a U.S. Air Force contract by setting up corporations to sell and resell computer storage devices to the government and directing the business to corporations he and his boss had interests in, according to the indictment.

Arguin and his boss, Victor J. Garber, 63, formerly of North Andover were indicted in 2000, charged with 49 counts of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, wire fraud and aiding and abetting in violation of U.S. law, among other charges. It was asserted the two used their positions as technology consultants to the Air Force employed by defense contractor DRC to divert government procurement funds for personal use. (Click HERE for article)

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