Bloomberg Tony Capaccio July 27,
At least 719 military personnel, civilian contractors, Iraqis and third-country nationals died inIraq over seven years performing U.S. reconstruction and stability operations, according to the first audit of its kind.
The dead include 264 of the 4,409 U.S. troops who died in Iraq from May 1, 2003, through August 30, 2010, according to the audit released today by Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.
The audit represents the first time a U.S. agency has attempted to tally the deaths associated with spending about $60 billion in congressionally appropriated reconstruction and stabilization funds.
Nothing was safe or “soft” about reconstruction missions, according to the report. “The human losses suffered in Iraq and outlined in this report underscore the point that when such operations are conducted in combat zones, they are dangerous for everyone involved,” the report said.
The deaths occurred during U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure, train police and security forces and restructure Iraq’s government institutions.
“The actual number of deaths related to reconstruction or stabilization activities is certainly higher than 719,”according to the report. “For several reasons, an exact calculation is not possible,” the report said, noting that no agency managed a central database for these categories of casualties.
Klein Frank, P.C. Announces $18.78 Million Awarded to Burn Victim of Contractor’s Negligence In Baghdad, Iraq
DENVER, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —
Klein Frank, P.C. of Boulder, Colorado and the Law Firm of Ted B. Lyon in Dallas, Texas announce that a jury has rendered a verdict in the amount of $18.78 Million in the case of Dawson v. Fluor Intercontinental, Inc.
Plaintiff David Dawson was a civilian contractor working on the reconstruction of Iraq. Defendant Fluor Intercontinental, Inc. entered into a $59 Million a year costs plus contract with the Army Corps of Engineers to provide O&M and Life Support services in multiple compounds in Iraq. This contract specifically required Fluor to provide safe water to individuals living in these compounds. Fluor Intercontinental, Inc was paid $10 Million per year plus costs to maintain Freedom Compound, a 600 bed facility in Baghdad. Dawson was burned by excessively hot water at Freedom Compound on November 16, 2007.
The jury found that Fluor was negligent and failed to properly maintain the safe temperature of the water heaters. The Defense expert for Fluor testified that the water heaters would reach over 200 Degrees Fahrenheit. All parties agreed that the safe temperature of water was 120 Degrees Fahrenheit.
As a consequence of Fluor’s negligence, David Dawson received third degree burns over 65% of his body and burns to his lungs. He was treated at the Ibn Sina hospital in Baghdad by the 86th CSH and airlifted to Germany where he received extensive treatment to save his life. Dawson credits the skill of his physicians for his survival. The jury awarded him $18.78 million in compensation for his disfigurement and the extreme suffering through which he lived.
Trial attorney Beth Klein “We are grateful that the jury held this highly compensated contractor to the standards to which it agreed. We hope that this verdict will help ensure the safety of our citizens working to support the efforts of the United States and to ensure that contractors provide the value that they promise.”
Oregon Live June 26, 2012
It’s not clear who’s going to pay legal costs for defense contractor KBR Inc., which is being sued by National Guard soldiers who accuse the company of knowingly exposing them to a carcinogen.
While the company persuaded the Army Corps of Engineers to write an indemnification clause into its 2003 contract to restore the flow of Iraq’s oil, the Corps has twice refused KBR’s request to cover its costs in the two lawsuits proceeding against it in Oregon and Texas.
Lawyers for KBR say they believe the company is entitled to have its expenses covered by taxpayers but is proceeding through the litigation in the meantime at its own risk and expense, said Geoffrey Harrison of the Houston firm of Susman, Godfrey. The company expects to challenge the Corps’ denial “maybe at the end of the case,” he said.
Prosecutors say their investigation has unmasked one of the largest and most brazen government procurement frauds in history
Associated Press March 13, 2012
WASHINGTON — A former executive on Tuesday admitted his role in a $28 million bribery scheme involving the awarding of government contracts and is cooperating with prosecutors in their continuing investigation.
Harold F. Babb, 60, pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington to one charge each of bribery and unlawful kickbacks. Babb was arrested in October along with three other men, including two employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Prosecutors say their investigation has unmasked one of the largest and most brazen government procurement frauds in history.
“It took me a while to come to terms (with), but I am guilty,” Babb told a federal judge before entering his plea.
Babb, who has been in custody since his arrest, admitted participating in a complex, far-ranging scheme.
Prosecutors say the fraud involved contracts steered to favored subcontractors for kickbacks, contracts awarded through bribery and the submission of phony and inflated invoices for payment. Authorities say the illicit proceeds of the scheme were split among multiple defendants and used to purchase clothing, real estate, cars, fine jewelry and other luxuries.
A bribery conviction carries a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison and the unlawful kickbacks charge can carry up to 10 years, though Babb is likely to face a much shorter sentence because of his guilty plea and cooperation.
“Mr. Babb decided to accept responsibility and cooperate with the government and move on his with his life,” his lawyer, Jeffrey Jacobovitz, said after the plea hearing.
At the time of his arrest, Babb was director of contracts for Eyak Technology, the subsidiary of an Alaska Native Corporation with operations in Virginia and the prime contractor for a lucrative contract with the Army Corps of Engineers. EyakTek, in turn, had multiple subcontractors, including Nova Datacom and Big Surf Construction Management.
Babb admitted to accepting more than $1 million in kickbacks from Nova Datacom’s chief technology officer, Alex N. Cho, in exchange for giving the subcontractor preferential treatment, and to paying more than $7 million in bribes in return for approval on Army Corps of Engineers contracts and subcontracts, according to authorities.
Babb was arrested along with two Army Corps of Engineers employees, Kerry F. Khan and Michael A. Alexander, and Khan’s son, Lee Khan. Alexander pleaded guilty last month to bribery and conspiracy. Prosecutors initially described the scheme as totaling $20 million, but they say the scope of the fraud has increased to $28 million as new bribes and kickback payments have been discovered.
Since the initial arrests, prosecutors also have revealed charges against a handful of other men associated with subcontractors, including Cho, who pleaded guilty last September to money laundering, conspiracy and other charges.
The Huntsville Times March 13, 2012
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — A series of multi-million contracts for munitions disposal in Iraq were used in a kickback scheme worth more than $1 million, and three men now face criminal charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Birmingham.
The scheme involved employees of an unnamed California-based prime contractor, awarding Iraq reconstruction work to subcontractors in exchange for payments, the Justice Department alleges.
The original contracts were issued as part of the Coalition Munitions Clearance Program, which is operated in Iraq by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntsville Engineering and Support Center, according to the Justice Department’s news release.
The Huntsville Engineering and Support’s operated the program to clear out, store and dispose of weapons that were seized or abandoned in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, the Justice Department said.
The HESC awarded a contract to perform this work to an international engineering and construction firm based in Pasadena, Calif.
Two employees of that company, Billy Joe Hunt, 57, of Athens and Gaines Newell, 52, of Richton, Miss., are charged with conspiracy in connection with kickbacks, wire fraud and mail fraud, and with filing false tax returns.
Both men have entered pleas by information and were not indicted.
Those pleas contend both men were involved in soliciting and receiving a total of more than $1 million in kickbacks.
A United Kingdom national, Ahmed Sarchil Kazzaz and his company, Leadstay Co., also face multiple charges. Kazzaz paid more than $947,500 in unlawful kickbacks to win lucrative subcontracts for himself and Leadstay in connection with the Coalition Munitions Clearance Program, the Justice Department said.
Kazzaz and Leadstay face one count of conspiracy to defraud and commit offenses against the United States; six counts of unlawful kickbacks; one count of wire fraud; and three counts of mail fraud. Kazzaz was arrested on Feb. 14, 2012, in Los Angeles.
“Government contracts fraud is an insult to all law-abiding taxpayers,” said Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. “These defendants’ conduct was even worse in that they tried to illegally profit from defense contracts in Iraq, where American men and women were willing to put their lives on the line for freedom.”
The President of the United States: Include U.S Civilian Contractors in Deaths/Injured in Iraq & Afghanistan
Why This Is Important
As Americans, we all feel a sense of patriotism when it comes to our great country. The men and women who chose to go to Iraq and Afghanistan in a civilian capacity to serve our country are NOT included in the numbers when they tally the numbers of Deaths and Injured. Why should they be included you may ask? Why should they be excluded I ask.
When a civilian contractor is killed or injured the American people are paying the bill. Survivor benefits, worker’s compensation, funeral expenses, medical expenses etc are all paid for by the American people. While the multi-billion dollar private military companies like (DynCorp, KBR, Xe, etc.) sit back and continue to reap the benefits of the continued international conflicts.
If you know a civilian contractor who is currently employed, has been injured, has been killed please sign our petition. Although many of these men and women who chose to serve our country in the civilian capacity are retired military personnel, they receive no acknowldgement of their sacrafices when they are injured or killed.
Instead our Government wants to hide these brave men and women and not include these losses in the numbers of Americans who have sacrificed
In October 2011, Global Integrated Security (USA), Inc. in Reston, VA won a 4-year, $480 million firm-fixed-price contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for Reconstruction Security Support Services throughout Afghanistan. Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of Oct 19/15. Five bids were solicited, with 5 bids received by the USACE office in Winchester, VA (W912ER-12-D-0001).
Global Integrated Security has performed RSSS work in Afghanistan before. A $34 million task order in December 2009 focused on Kabul and Kandahar, but a March 2010 contract [PDF] from the US Army Corps of Engineers saw them expand those services to encompass a National Operations Center providing intelligence and analysis, reconnaissance teams, interpreters, aviation services throughout Afghanistan; and “mobile security support services” to USACE personnel during travel to, and presence at, construction sites
Statement concerning filing of class action for fraud and bad faith against KBR, DynCorp, Blackwater, G4S/Wackenhut/Ronco Consulting, CNA Insurance, AIG Insurance and others who conspired to deny benefits to severely injured contractors and to harm them further
Scott Bloch files complaint for $2 billion against major government contractors like
KBR, Blackwater.XE, DynCorp, G4S/Wackenhut/Ronco Consulting and the global insurance carriers AIG, CNA, ACE and Zurich, on behalf of thousands of former employees, for unlawful, fraudulent and bad-faith mistreatment of injured employees and their families
Since 2003, top government contractors like Blackwater, KBR, DynCorp, CSA/AECOM and ITT have been perpetrating a fraud on their employees and on the American public.
The silent warriors who work for these companies, many of them decorated former military service members, have been injured, mistreated and abandoned by the contracting companies and their insurance carriers who have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars in premiums.
“It is a grave injustice,” Bloch said, “to those who rode alongside American soldiers, including Iraqi and Afghani Nationals, to be case aside without the benefits of the law. We are supposedly trying to bring them the rule of law. We are supposedly trying to encourage them in democratic institutions.
We are the ones asking them to believe in justice and individual rights.
This is a travesty to all Americans and those around the world who look to America for an example of humanitarian aid and proper treatment of workers.”
This is a lawsuit for damages in the amount of $2 billion to remedy the injuries and destruction caused to the lives, finances and mental and physical well being of thousands of American families and others whose loved ones were injured while serving America under contracts with the United States.
It seeks an additional unspecified amount to punish the companies who made massive profits while causing this harm to people unlawfully and maliciously and working a fraud on the American public who paid them.
“This abusive and illegal scheme by the defendants has been allowed to go on for too long.
We are talking about loss of life, suicide, loss of homes, marriages, families split up, “ Bloch said, “and the culprits are the large government contractors who should have treated their employees better, and the mega-insurance companies who were paid a hefty sum to make sure the employees were taken care of with uninterrupted benefits in the event of injuries in these war zones.”
This complaint is filed due to actions and omissions of defendants, in conspiracy with others, and individually, to defeat the right of American citizens and foreign nationals to receive their lawful benefits and compensation under the Defense Base Act (“DBA”), as it adopts the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”).
The lawsuit explains that those sued engaged under the RICO statute in an enterprise of fraudulent and or criminal acts to further their scheme to defeat the rights of individuals who have been injured or suffered occupational diseases, and death, while on foreign soil in support of defense activities under the DBA.
These acts were perpetrated repeatedly through bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, using telephones, faxes, and United States mail .
“These are heroes, decorated by America’s Armed Services,” said Bloch.
“Some of the foreign contractors were decorated special forces soldiers from their countries who assisted the United States in combating threats. The sheer disregard for human dignity and law is reprehensible and deserves punishment.
These families and many others who have been harmed need treatment, need compensation, need redress of the wrongs that have been perpetrated by these huge companies and insurance carriers for the last 10 years.
They have earned $100 billion per year on the backs of these people, with the blood of these plaintiffs and those whom they represent.”
The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and covers individuals from all over the United States, South Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and other counties.
Contact Scott J. Bloch, PA:
Scott Bloch, 202-496-1290
Execute USACE Army Corp of Engineers projects as part of rebuilding Iraq program. Manage public work, military base and Iraqi infrastructure building construction projects. Mentor and train Iraqi Engineers to step up to the Western techniques in financial and financial project schedule management. ~LinkedIn Profile
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – September 19, 2011 –
A former employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stationed in Baghdad, Iraq, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to receive bribes from Iraqi contractors involved in the U.S.-funded reconstruction efforts, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge James W. McJunkin of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Thomas Aram Manok, 50, of Chantilly, Va., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga in the Eastern District of Virginia. Sentencing has been scheduled for Dec. 9, 2011. Manok faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
According to court documents, Manok admitted to using his official position to conspire with Iraqi contractors to accept cash bribes in exchange for recommending that the Army Corps of Engineers approve contracts and other requests for payment submitted by the contractors to the U.S. government. According to court documents, in March and April 2010, Manok agreed to receive a $10,000 payment from one such contractor who had been involved in constructing a kindergarten and girls’ school in the Abu Ghraib neighborhood of Baghdad and had sought Manok’s influence in having requests for payment approved by the Corps of Engineers. According to court documents, Manok was to receive an additional bribe payment from the contractor once the contractor’s claim had been approved. Manok also admitted that he intended to conceal the payments from authorities by transferring them, via associates, from Iraq to Armenia.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General, the Army Criminal Investigation Command and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, as participants in the International Contract Corruption Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Nathanson of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Mary Ann McCarthy of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Channel 13 WVEC Washington DC September 7, 2011 8:00 pm
A man who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Norfolk was killed in Afghanistan.
James W. Coker, 59, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., was pronounced dead Sept. 5 in Kabul, Afghanistan, while on temporary assignment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Coker worked for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic in Norfolk.
The circumstances surrounding Coker’s death are under investigation.
According to the Associated Press, Coker was a civilian working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when he was kidnapped from his Afghanistan power plant and strangled to death.
Carrie Hughes, Coker’s daughter, told The Associated Press that military officers came to her house near Charleston, South Carolina on Monday to inform her that her father had been killed.
It was not known who killed the Coker or under what circumstances he was abducted. Also Tuesday, the bodies of two Germans who had apparently been murdered were retrieved from a remote location. Neither area is known to be a hotbed of militant activity.
CBS News September 6, 2007
An Afghan military official tells CBS News that the body of a U.S. national was found beheaded on Monday in eastern Kabul, days after a civilian engineer went missing in the capital city.
Intelligence sources in Afghanistan told the Reuters news agency the body was that of the missing American civilian, and the international military coalition confirmed that a U.S. engineer had been killed.
The slain engineer was identified as James W. “Will” Coker by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for which he worked in Kabul as a construction contractor.
Kidnappings and targeted killings of foreigners are common in Afghanistan, but less so in the sprawling capital city, which has seen less impact from the Taliban- and al Qaeda-led insurgency plaguing many parts of the nation.
Coker was reported missing on Monday, but sources tell CBS News he actually disappeared on Sept. 2
An alarming story of greed, negligence, and a lack of government oversight
Starring the DBA Insurance company that most ruthlessly denies the medical care and benefits to Injured Contractors and the Widows and families of those who are killed.
July 28, 2011
So this $58.5 million was overcharged in a very small portion of the DBA business that CNA carries.
Basically CNA overcharged, didn’t reimburse USACE and contractors for labor charges that turned out not to be justified, did not have proper paperwork in place and accounting procedures to allow DCAA to be able to look at their books and determine who was owed what.
CNA also commingled funds meant to be segregated for different contracts, lumping them all into one account.
The workers’ compensation program is so riddled with problems as a result of using a third-party insurer that the inspector general’s office suggests it may be worthwhile to dump the insurer altogether, the audit reads.
More to come
WASHINGTON, July 14 (UPI) — The Justice Department Thursday announced the indictment of three former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees in a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme.
The former employees, along with two foreign contractors, were charged in a 54-count indictment with bribery and fraud in connection with the award of more than $50 million in construction and infrastructure contracts in Iraq, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman for the District of New Jersey said in a statement.
The five defendants named in the indictment are Egyptian-born U.S. citizen John Alfy Salama Markus, 39, of Nazareth, Pa.; Onisem Gomez, 32, a U.S. citizen residing in Chiriqui, Panama; Ammar Al-Jobory, aka “Ammar Hussein Muhammed Al-Jobory,” 33, an Iraqi citizen; Ahmed Nouri, aka “Ahmed Bahjat,” 41, a citizen of Great Britain residing in Greece and Iraq; and Mithaq Al-Fahal, aka “Mithaq Mahmood Al-Fahal,” 36, an Iraqi citizen.
DynCorp International Inc., the largest contractor in Afghanistan, is running two years late in completing construction of a barracks for use by Afghan security forces, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The $72.8 million, two-phase project for Kunduz was originally scheduled to be completed in June 2009. The date was extended to August 2010. The latest completion target is May 31, Corps spokesman Eugene Pawlik said in an e-mail yesterday.
Construction delays at the Kunduz barracks, in northern Afghanistan, and at other facilities throughout the country complicates the U.S. process of turning over security functions to Afghan forces, said Charles Tiefer, a member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting.
“It’s a setback in our hoped-for rapid build-up of the Afghan army’s infrastructure, which needs top priority if we’re to meet the deadline of turning responsibility for the country’s security to these Afghan forces in 2014,” Tiefer, a University of Baltimore professor, said in an e-mail today. The eight- member commission was established by Congress to monitor contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ashley Burke, a spokeswoman for Falls Church, Virginia- based DynCorp, said in an e-mail that “unanticipated soil abnormalities were a major issue impeding the construction progress.” DynCorp was acquired last year by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management LP. Please read the entire article here
Arnold Fields, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, offered no explanation for his decision to leave. His resignation becomes official at the beginning of next month.
“I depart confident in the knowledge that SIGAR is positioned to provide essential support to the president’s strategy,” he said.
Fields’ resignation leaves vacant a key post in the Obama administration’s push for bringing greater accountability to U.S. contracting in Afghanistan.
McClatchy reported in November that over the past three years, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction projects in Afghanistan have failed, face serious delays or resulted in subpar work, costing American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and hobbling U.S. efforts to stabilize the country.
Four senators accused Fields’ office of doing a poor job of scrutinizing how $56 billion in reconstruction money is being spent in the war-torn nation. The senators demanded Fields’ resignation in a letter to President Barack Obama late last year.
Last week, Fields fired two of his deputies partly in response to the congressional criticism. However, Fields, a retired Marine Corps major general, told McClatchy, he had no plans to resign saying: “The Marine Corps taught me not to quit.”
But a report by the federal Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency had fueled the calls for his resignation. The council recommended that the Justice Department consider revoking the special inspector general’s law enforcement authority and concluded his office had problems with hiring, strategic planning and investigative policies.
FORT BELVOIR, Va., Jan. 5 (UPI) – The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency is procuring building materials for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Carl Knotts, chief of plans, exercise and readiness branch in DLA’s Joint Logistics Operations Center, said the agency began the effort in October because of concerns about the quality of locally procured construction materials.
“What they’ve asked us to do is the procurement and the strategic distribution to the geographic region,” he said.
“From an agency perspective, it’s an expansion into a business line that we generally didn’t have a business presence of this magnitude,” he said. “This is a chance for us to demonstrate that we can do this and do it well.” Please read the entire article here