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British Contractor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Wire Fraud Conspiracy Related to Iraq Reconstruction Efforts
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – December 10, 2012 – British contractor APTx Vehicle Systems Limited agreed today to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Coalition Provisional Authority that governed Iraq from April 2003 to June 2004, the government of Iraq and JP Morgan Chase Bank. A civil settlement agreement resolving a related action filed under the False Claims Act was also announced today.APTx was charged with one count of wire fraud conspiracy in a criminal information filed today in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. As part of the plea agreement filed with the information, APTx agreed to pay a criminal fine of $1 million.
Sara Sorcher – (National Journal) – January 30, 2012 – A federal audit that found the Defense Department cannot account for nearly $2 billion in Iraqi funds is likely to fuel Baghdad’s interest in pursuing a claim against Washington for failing to handle its money responsibly, the special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction Stuart Bowen told National Journal.
An audit published on Sunday investigated the roughly $3 billion the Iraqi government gave the Defense Department to pay bills for contracts the Coalition Provisional Authority awarded before it dissolved in 2004. Most of these funds were deposited into an account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Even though DOD was responsible for maintaining the proper documentation, it could only account for $1 billion of the money.
“Its systematic of the poor record keeping that was rife throughout the early stages of the reconstruction effort,” Bowen, who has conducted three other major audits into the original pot of roughly $21 billion in Iraqi funds the U.S. managed in 2003 and 2004, said.
Iraq contractor bought black market weapons, swapped booze for rockets: ex-staffers
By T. Christian Miller and Aram Roston
Last spring, the U.S. diplomatic mission in Iraq got a makeover,replacing the scandal-plagued Blackwater private security company with a firm named Triple Canopy.
The new $1 billion contract cemented Triple Canopy’s status as the pre-eminent provider of private security services in Iraq, with its heavily armed employees appearing side by side with senior State Department diplomats.
But the company’s rise to prominence followed a long, often chaotic route, marked by questionable weapons deals, government bungling and a criminal investigation that was ultimately closed without charges being filed, according to newly released investigative files.
Company employees told federal investigators that Triple Canopy swapped booze for weapons and supplies from the U.S. military. They said the company bought guns and other arms on the black market in Iraq. Some worried that the money was flowing into the hands of insurgents, records show. Read the remainder of this entry »