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Tag Archive: Iraq Contracts

Sale of War Firm Makes Millions for Presidential Uncle:

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President Bush’s uncle William Bush collected $2.7 million in cash and stocks in the sale of the war contracting firm ESSI to DRS Technologies, according to the Los Angeles Times. ESSI received hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for operations in Iraq, many of them no-bid, and is currently involved in two federal investigations according to the SEC. One of the investigations revolves around a delayed disclosure to stockholders of a stop-order put on a contract. During the delay “several ESSI executives, including Bush's uncle, cashed in stock and stock options worth millions of dollars”.

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Contractor Wastes Money, Gets Slap on Wrist:

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The Army will reimburse a subsidiary of the oil and gas giant Halliburton for close to the entirety of its $2.41 billion dollar contract, “even though the Pentagon's own auditors had identified more than $250 million in charges as potentially excessive or unjustified.” A spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers stated that, “the contractor is not required to perform perfectly to be entitled to reimbursement.” The Pentagon will withhold $10.1 million from the contract, just 3.8 percent of the total questionable charges. This low amount is far outside the norm according to the New York Times, “In 2003, the agency's figures show, the military withheld an average of 66.4 percent of what the auditors had recommended, while in 2004 the figure was 75.2 percent and in 2005 it was 56.4 percent.”

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Iraq Contractor Trial Underway:

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A retired brigadier general told a grand jury that the work of two U.S. contractors “was probably the worst I've ever seen in my 30 years in the Army.” The Washington Post reports on the trial of Michael Battles and Scott Custer, accused of defrauding the American government and the Coalition Provisional Authority, the American-run government of post-invasion Iraq, of millions of dollars. The general, Hugh Tant III, accused the pair of providing trucks that did not work and “failed to perform adequately in supplying cabins, mattresses, generators and Internet service to troops who were distributing the new dinar in the fall of 2003.”

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Contractor Fraud Case Set to Begin:

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The first civil fraud trial of contractors accused of war profiteering in Iraq goes to trial tomorrow, according to the Washington Post.  The contractors, Scott Custer and Michael Battles, are accused of “overcharging the government millions of dollars by running inflated expense billings through a series of shell companies they created.” The trial is expected to highlight problems within the Coalition Provisional Authority that ruled Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government.

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Iraq Reconstruction Funds Stolen, Admits Official:

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The New York Times reports that Robert Stein, a Coalition Provision Authority official in charge of distributing $82 million worth of contracts, pleaded guilty to bribery, money laundering, conspiracy, and a number of firearms felonies for his part in stealing millions of dollars from the Iraq reconstruction fund and funneling it into his pockets and the bank accounts of a contractor named Philip Bloom. Stein, an ex-felon with a previous fraud conviction, and Bloom have both been charged, along with their accomplices in the U.S. military, for stealing money intended to build police stations, a library, and a center to promote democracy among other things. This is the first prosecuted case of fraud in the Coalition Provisional Authority’s rule of Iraq after the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country.

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