Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Army bars Leonie Industries co-owner from contracts

USA Today  June 20, 2012

WASHINGTON – The Army has suspended the co-owner of the military’s top propaganda firm in Afghanistan from receiving federal contracts after revelations about the owners’ tax debts and the admission by one owner that he launched an online campaign against journalists, according to government documents.

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., who is on the Armed Services Committee, asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Tuesday to expand the Pentagon investigations into Leonie Industries. In a letter, Johnson cited allegations that the company may have misrepresented its finances while bidding for federal contracts and had started an online smear campaign directed against two USA TODAY journalists.

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June 20, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Department of Defense, Journalists, Propaganda | , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon probes contractor’s taxes, treatment of Afghan workers

USA Today June 11, 2012

WASHINGTON – Pentagon criminal investigators have launched a full probe into the military’s top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan regarding taxes paid by its owners and treatment of its Afghan employees, according to a letter obtained by USA TODAY.

The paper revealed in February that the owners of Leonie Industries had owed more than $4 million in back taxes to the federal government. That debt was settled in March, federal records show. The company has received at least $120 million in Pentagon contracts since 2009.

Rep. John Tierney, a Massachusetts Democrat and a senior member of the oversight committee, requested the Pentagon Inspector General investigation of Leonie in March. He praised the Defense Criminal Investigative Service‘s decision to move beyond its initial inquiry and launched a more formal investigation.

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June 11, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Taxes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two senators target government contractors with back taxes

USA Today  March 8, 2012

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon should garnish payments made to defense contractors who fail to pay their federal income taxes, say a bipartisan pair of senators in a letter sent to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., cited a Feb. 29 USA TODAY report about the growth in Pentagon spending on information operations or propaganda programs.

The article detailed how two owners of Leonie Industries, the Pentagon’s largest such contractor in Afghanistan, owe more than $4 million in unpaid federal taxes since 2006.

Unfortunately, the apparent lack of effective contractor oversight and accountability led to a situation where the Army awarded at least one of these contracts — valued at $20 million — to a company for ‘marketing and media services’ even after the federal government placed a federal tax lien on the company’s two owners for nearly $4.5 million in delinquent federal taxes,” Carper and Coburn wrote in the letter sent Tuesday evening.

Carper is the chairman of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security, and Coburn is a member of the subcommittee.

“As you know, when U.S. military personnel have delinquent debts, the Department of Defense can be ordered to garnish their wages until these debts have been settled,” Carper and Coburn write. “If our wartime contractors — or any of the Department’s contractors, for that matter — have accumulated sizable tax debts, then we believe that similar action should be taken against these contractors

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March 8, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Taxes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DoD urged to investigate info ops, contractor

Air Force Times  March 2, 2012

Members of Congress called Thursday for the Pentagon to investigate military’s information operations programs and its top contractor in Afghanistan for failing to pay their taxes.

The request from Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., the ranking member of a panel on oversight of the military, cited a USA Today investigation published Wednesday that showed that the owners of Leonie Industries, the top information operations contractor in Afghanistan, have liens against them for more than $4 million for unpaid federal taxes

“It is deeply concerning to me that the same company whose owners are not meeting their tax obligations has been awarded Army contracts that could surpass $130 million,” Tierney wrote to Lynne Halbrooks, the Pentagon’s acting inspector general. “Families in my district and across the country are playing by the rules and struggling to make ends meet. Any taxpayer funds directed to companies owned by tax evaders is offensive to them and rightly so. As such, I believe an investigation is clearly warranted.”

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March 2, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Taxes | , , , | Leave a comment