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Louisiana Man, “Mark” McCabe, Arrested on Charges of Receiving Illegal Kickbacks in Afghanistan

Elton Mark McCabe, a Slidell businessman recently freed from a prison in South Sudan, was arrested Thursday on charges of receiving illegal kickbacks and wire fraud in connection with his work as a private contractor in Afghanistan in 2009. McCabe, 52, is former vice president of a company that received subcontracts for U.S. government projects in rebuilding efforts in Kandahar, Afghanistan, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. ~Katherine Sayre - The Times-Picayune

“I’m very excited that Mark McCabe is finally getting out of South Sudan after being held there with no just cause since mid-October,” Vitter said.~Press Release – Office of Senator David Vitter

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – November 12, 2012 – The former vice president of a construction company doing work in Afghanistan was arrested today on allegations of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gratuities from subcontractors during his employment in Afghanistan, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana and unsealed today charges Elton Maurice “Mark” McCabe III, 53, of Slidell, La., with one count of receiving illegal kickbacks and one count of wire fraud.

McCabe said he worked as a private contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq, beginning in 2004, doing construction at military bases. Once his job in Iraq ended, he heard other contractors talking about a country with new investment opportunities: South Sudan. McCabe partnered with an Iraqi friend, Mohammed Oglah, to explore business there, he said.~The Times-Picayune

McCabe and Oglah, who run a construction and consulting company called Diamond Corp. ~Bloomberg Businessweek

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Contractor Crime – Is it finally impacting their bottom line? This week’s updates

Agility auditors warn on U.S. suspension impact
KUWAIT (Reuters) – August 15, 2010 – A prolonged suspension of U.S. contracts could have a material impact on government-related businesses of Kuwait’s logistics firm Agility(AGLT.KW), the firm’s auditors said on Sunday.

Agility, formerly Public Warehousing Co. K.S.C. (PWC), is facing U.S. fraud charges for overcharging the military in contracts worth $8.5 billion spanning more than three years.

“Prolonged suspension could have a material impact on the Group’s government related business and may result in the associated assets being impaired,” auditors Ernst & Young and Kuwait’s Albazie & Co said in a report. (Click HERE for article)

Tiny toxic town takes on a corporate Goliath
RONNIE GREENE – August 14, 2010 – The main drag in this tiny blue collar hamlet is nearly hidden west of U.S. 301, a world away from the bustle of nearby Carrabba’s, The Fresh Market and Starbucks. Tallevast Road lacks sidewalks, so if you’re walking through town, tread gingerly to avoid the work trucks rumbling through. A long-closed plant anchors one end of town, hovering like the ghost of dead industry.
Yet Tallevast retains a small town richness, where news spreads word of mouth, neighbors are often kin, and many, though not all, of the 80 homes maintain the well-kept look of the working class.

Environmental contamination threatens to destroy this historic black town and its heritage. In one of the nation’s most emotional environmental divides, the residents find themselves pitted against giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin, Manatee County, and the state of Florida.

The divide takes root at the former American Beryllium Company plant, anchoring five acres at 1600 Tallevast Road across from a community church. Opened in 1961 and shuttered in 1996, the plant manufactured machine parts for nuclear weapons using beryllium-containing metals. Workers inhaled hazardous dust and handled a toxic degreaser that cleaned machine parts. (Click HERE for article)

US settles Ala. defense contractor’s claims
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) – August 13, 2010 – Defense contractor Alex Latifi will be awarded $290,000 by the federal government to settle claims related to a failed prosecution of Latifi and his company.

Latifi’s companym Axion Corp. is also back doing business with the U.S. government that accused him in 2007 of sending secrets to China.

The government had charged that Latifi sent classified information to China related to the design of the Blackhawk helicopter and faked testing on government-contracted work.

Jim Barger, 1 of Latifi’s attorneys, says his client feels vindicated and has no ill will toward the government.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, says Vance’s office conferred with Justice Department officials and decided a settlement was in the country’s best interests. (Click HERE for article)

Former Defense Department Contract Employee Pleads Guilty to Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to Contracts in Support of Iraqi War
August 11, 2010 – A former contract employee of the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to bribe U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at Camp Arifjan, an Army base in Kuwait, and to money laundering conspiracy, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer for the Criminal Division.

According to the court documents filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Wajdi Birjas, 39, of Evansville, Ind., was a contract employee in the Host Nation Affairs office at Camp Arifjan between approximately 2004 and August 2007. In this position, his responsibilities included identifying Kuwaiti companies able to provide certain goods and services to the U.S. military in Kuwait. Through his work, Birjas had frequent contact with Army contracting officials, including officials who were regularly receiving unlawful payments from individuals who had contracts with, or were seeking contracts from, DoD. Read the remainder of this entry »