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More are being prosecuted for crimes in Afghan, Iraq rebuilding effort, reports show
(Washington Post) – WASHINGTON – October 29, 2011 – A Marine in Iraq sent home $43,000 in stolen cash by hiding it in a footlocker among American flags. A soldier shipped thousands more concealed in a toy stuffed animal, and an embassy employee tricked the State Department into wiring $240,000 into his foreign bank account.
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the number of people indicted and convicted by the U.S. for bribery, theft and other reconstruction-related crimes in both countries is rapidly rising, according to two government reports released Sunday.
“This is a boom industry for us,” Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, or SIGIR, said in an interview.
“Investigators and auditors had a productive quarter,” said a report on the theft of Afghanistan aid by Steven Trent, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. The report covered August through October.
In the last 13 months U.S. investigators in Iraq secured the indictments of 22 people for alleged aid-related offenses, bringing to 69 the total since the SIGIR office was created in 2004. Convictions stand at 57. Several hundred more suspects are under scrutiny in 102 open investigations and those numbers are expected to climb.The rise in caseloads derives partly from spinoff investigations, where suspects facing prosecution lead investigators to other suspects, said Jon Novak, SIGIR’s assistant inspector general for investigations.
“More and more people are ratting out their associates,” he said, turning in conspirators who helped launder money after it was stolen, others who were aware of it and others implicated in the crimes. (Click HERE for article)
Pentagon shifts away from disputed fuel contracts
Walter Pincus – (Washington Post) – October 28, 2011 – For years, Pentagon contracts to deliver jet fuel to Kyrgyzstan have been the subject of controversy, with allegations, so far unproved, that the families of two former Kyrgyz presidents profited from them. Now, the allegations involving the Mina Corp. and Red Star Enterprises may fade away.
Meanwhile, the owners and officers of some contractors that weren’t paying federal taxes had significant personal assets, including a sports team, a high-performance airplane, commercial properties, multimillion-dollar homes and luxury vehicles, the GAO said in its 2007 report. ~ Tom Shean – Virginian-Pilot~
History Facts for May 22
Tax requirement delayed, to the relief of companies
Tom Shean – (The Virginian-Pilot) – May 22, 2011 – Companies doing business with the federal government have a bit more breathing room from what some say is an onerous tax provision.
Earlier this month, the IRS delayed for another year a government plan for holding back 3 percent of the amounts paid to federal contractors.
The program, designed to cover contractors’ tax liabilities, originally was scheduled to take effect at the beginning of 2011. The date was pushed back two years ago to 2012. Now it’s Jan. 1, 2013.
Still, “it will be a cash-flow nightmare” for smaller defense contractors, especially those with modest profit margins, predicted Gregg N. Funkhouser, partner in charge of government contracting for the CPA firm Dixon Hughes Goodman.
While the average profit margin for his defense-contractor clients is 7 percent, the margins for some are as low as 1 percent, and these companies likely will suffer, Funkhouser said during a presentation in Norfolk last week. (Click HERE for article)