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Funds for SIGIR, agency charged with oversight of Iraq reconstruction, set to expire in March

Ernesto Londoño – (The Washington Post) – January 19, 2013 – George Lee, a Kuwait-based U.S. defense contractor who was reaping millions as America’s quagmire in Iraq deepened, sent an e-mail to an Army major who awarded bids in Baghdad, warning her not to visit him.

“None of us want Uncle Sam, or anyone else, looking where they should not be looking,” he wrote in one of the trove of messages and intercepted phone calls that exposed the biggest fraud conspiracy from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So far, 22 people have been indicted and $67 million has been recovered in that single scheme, which remains under investigation.

But the little-known agency that uncovered the scam is about to close its doors, even though Lee remains a fugitive and 91 additional criminal investigations into the disappearance of Iraq reconstruction funds remain unsolved. Read the remainder of this entry »

COL Levonda J. Selph (ret) sentenced for Iraq contracting crimes

Retired Army Colonel Sentenced to 12 Months in Prison for Bribery Scheme Involving Department of Defense Contracts in Iraq

WASHINGTON — A retired colonel in the U.S. Army was sentenced today to 12 months in prison for her role in a scheme to pay bribes for contracts awarded in support of the Iraq war, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.  
 
 Levonda J. Selph, 57, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton of the District of Columbia.   In addition to her prison term, Selph was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $9,000 in restitution.
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Justin W. Lee pleads guilty to charges relating to Iraq contracts

Former President of Lee Dynamics International Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy and Bribery Related to Department of Defense Contracts in Iraq

Jailbird by artist Kevin Hanna

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – July 15, 2011 – The former president of Lee Dynamics International, a defense contractor providing services to the U.S. military in Iraq, pleaded guilty today to an indictment charging him with a scheme to bribe military officials in order to obtain government contracts, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. 

Justin W. Lee, 33, a resident of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel H. Slomsky in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and four counts of bribery.  Lee and his father, George H. Lee Jr., were charged in an indictment unsealed on May 27, 2011, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  

Justin Lee admitted that he conspired with his father and others to bribe military contracting officers in order to obtain government contracts to support U.S. combat operations in Iraq.  According to court documents, Justin Lee provided things of value, including cash, airline tickets, meals, hotel stays, spa visits and jobs, which were valued at a total of more than $1.2 million, to public officials in return for official acts which helped him obtain lucrative Department of Defense contracts.  The contracts included multi-million dollar contracts for the storage of weapons at various warehouses in Iraq as well as bottled water. 

 “For Justin Lee and others, bribery was a way of doing business,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer.  “He offered military officials vacations to Thailand and Europe, Rolex watches, cash, and even employment with their company, all in order to secure lucrative defense contracts.  Private contractors will not be allowed to win business by stacking the deck against the competition and, as this investigation shows, the military officials who participate in such fraudulent schemes will also be held to account.”  Read the remainder of this entry »

Another Army officer pleads guilty to bribery – where’s the honor?

Ex-Army officer expected to plead guilty to bribery

By Guillermo Contreras – Express-News
March 12, 2010

A former Army lieutenant colonel plans to plead guilty next month to charges that he accepted bribes in Iraq to rig an $11.7 million warehouse contract from a company accused of bribing another officer from San Antonio.

The Justice Department filed charges Feb. 26 against retired Lt. Col. Kevin A. Davis, who is cooperating, as part of a deal he struck to avoid having his case go before a grand jury, records obtained by the San Antonio Express-News show.

Davis is scheduled to plead guilty April 13 in Washington, D.C., to three bribery charges for accepting expensive airplane tickets and $50,000 from an American-run company in Kuwait. The company has been administratively blackballed over allegations that it also bribed other military officers, including then-Army Maj. John Cockerham. Read the remainder of this entry »

More arrests in the minority defense contractor bribery scheme

Maj. John L. Cockerham

Iraq War Contractor Guilty
Ex-Sergeant Pleads to Multiple Counts in Bribery Case Involving U.S. Army Officers

By JOEL MILLMAN

A former U.S. Army sergeant became the latest person to plead guilty in a sprawling bribes-for-contracts scheme in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 that has ended the careers of five military officers.

Terry Hall, 44 years old, of Snellville, Ga., pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Ala., to multiple counts of bribery, conspiracy, money-laundering and wire fraud. He agreed to forfeit $15.7 million seized as evidence from offshore accounts, and faces up to 20 years in prison. Mr. Hall’s lawyer couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Mr. Hall’s plea is another milestone in a case that began more than three years ago with the suicide of Army Maj. Gloria Davis in her quarters at Baghdad’s Camp Victory. The case has brought guilty pleas from three other majors and one lieutenant colonel, who were accused of conspiring to rig defense contracts worth tens of millions of dollars in Iraq and Kuwait. Read the remainder of this entry »