Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

General Dynamics Forces Employees on Army Base to Attend Anti-Union Meetings

Noel Brinkerhoff  All Gov June 29, 2012
With the complicity of the U.S. Army, a defense contractor has forced its employees to attend anti-union meetings on a military base in Washington State.

About 120 civilian workers at Fort Lewis will vote today whether to join Local 286 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). For the past six months, however, the workers’ employer—General Dynamics—has required them to attend meetings on the base that hammer home the message: unions are bad.

Among the faults cited by the defense contractor is the claim that if the employees vote to unionize, General Dynamics will lose its Stryker combat vehicle deal with the Army. The company received $19 billion in government contracts last year.

According to a story by Mike Elk of In These Times, the Army offered no comment and “has not taken a position on these meetings nor the claims that the workers voting to join a union would make them less attractive to the Army.”

One worker, former Marine Jason Croic, who now works at Fort Lewis, said “it’s bullshit the way they [General Dynamics] are talking to us,” adding: “You think when it’s prior military veterans who have done their part, they wouldn’t do this kind of thing to us.”

Please see the original and read more here

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Government Contractor | , , , | Leave a comment

Tamimi Global To Pay $13 Million Over Army, KBR Kickbacks

WSJ Blog September 16, 2011

Tamimi Global Co., or TAFGA, agreed to pay the U.S. $13 million to settle criminal and civil allegations that it paid kickbacks to an employee of a government contractor and illegal gratuities to a former U.S. Army Sergeant in connection with Army operations in Iraq and Kuwait.

The Saudi Arabia-based company entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement with the U.S. that calls for TAFGA to pay the U.S. $5.6 million and institute a compliance program. In a separate civil settlement, TAFGA agreed to pay the U.S. $7.4 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to a Kellogg Brown & Root employee for favorable treatment.

“When we believe companies are engaging in wartime profiteering, we will not hesitate to act,” said Tony West, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, in a statement.

Under the deferred-prosecution agreement, the new compliance program TAFGA must form requires it to establish a new Kuwaiti management team, as well as an ethics and compliance team with oversight over U.S. government contracts. It also has to institute a compliance hotline, and to retain a monitor.

If TAFGA meets its obligations under the agreement for 18 months without violating it, the Justice Department said it will dismiss the criminal charges

Please see the original at WSJ Blog

September 16, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, KBR | , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Army misled public about Acinetobacter outbreak’s origins, report shows

Injured Civilian Contractors were infected with Acinetobacter baumannii in the military medical evacuation system causing many to lose limbs and some their lives.  At a minimum, treatment for an Acinetobacter baumannii infection causes a much longer recovery time and life long implications.

If you suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury your freshly compressed brain cells were bathed in the huge doses of highly nuerotoxic antibiotics prophylacticly whether or not you had this infection creating a hostile environment for recovery at the very least.

by Bryant Furlow at EpiNewsWire  May 30, 2011

The U.S. Army Public Health Command has released an incomplete list of epidemiological consultation (EPICON) studies from the past decade to epiNewswire, without mentioning the fact that the titles of some studies were not on the list.

One politically-sensitive Army report excluded from the disclosed list is a 2005 EPICON study detailing the spread of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter infections from contaminated military hospitals in Iraq throughout the military hospital system.

That report details evidence that that improper use of antibiotics and unsanitary conditions at U.S. military hospitals were responsible for the deadly outbreak of Acinetobacter infections among wounded troops, and that the outbreak had spread to civilian patients in the U.S. and Germany, killing several of them.

But for several years after the study’s completion, Army health officials continued to downplay the risk to civilians and to make misleading statements to soldiers and the public, claiming Acinetobacter infections were from Iraqi soil in soldiers’ blast wounds.

In reality, Acinetobacter “wound infections were relatively uncommon,” the 2005 Acinetobacter EPICON report states. “Pre-hospital, primary wound infections in-theater are not likely to have a significant role in transmission.”

In Iraq, military surgeons were using broad-spectrum antibiotics as prophylactics against infection, “introducing a greater risk of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) evolving as a result,” the report notes.

Hand hygiene practices were inconsistently observed by military healthcare workers, the report states.

“Proper hand washing has been the single most important measure in controlling hospital spread of Acinetobacter,” the report states.

All seven military hospitals in Iraq were found to be “contaminated” with Acinetobacter, the report states.

Civilians were at much greater risk from infections than soldiers, the report states.

The report recommended adoption of standardized infection control practices at military hospitals and the air evacuation system, including disinfection and hand washing practices – and noted a pressing need for improved medical record-keeping “at all levels of care, particularly in-theater.”

A German hospital accepting U.S. troops on a referral basis, experienced an Acinetobacter outbreak that spread to German patients, the report states. That outbreak “reflects the potential importance that the outbreak can have, and probably has had, outside of the direct chain of evacuation,” the report states. Similar outbreaks had occurred in British hospitals where UK troops had been treated, the report notes.

Missing and incomplete medical records complicated the study, the report states.

“Relatively few surveillance and infection control data are available from in-theater, although progress has been made,” the report states. “Data quality from patient chart reviews indicates large variation in data available and no standardization.”

The “absence of good documentation either precludes any ability to draw scientific conclusions or significantly complicates investigations and analyses that are critical for prioritizing interventional resources and saving lives,” the report states.

epiNewswire’s Bryant Furlow first reported on an Acinetobacter outbreak among Iraqi and U.S. patients on the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship Comfort in July 2006, in the International Affairs Journal’s International Update newsletter.

In February 2007, Wired magazine writer Steve Silberman subsequently broke the story of Acinetobacter’s spread to Europe, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and elsewhere. Silberman’s report details how the family of a U.S. Marine who died of his infection, was initially told he had died of his wounds.

That summer, citing two medical journal publications based on parts of the EPICON research effort,  Reuters reported that “new research” showed that contaminated hospitals, not Iraqi soil, caused the Acinetobacter outbreak.

In reality, military medical officials had suspected as much since spring 2003, the EPICON report indicates — and had known it to be the case since the first, 2004 symposium on the project’s initial findings.

Further reading:

EPICON #12-HA-01-JK-04, “Investigating Acinetobacter baumannii infections at U.S. Army military treatment facilities 27 August 2004 to 27 May 2005.” (View here, via Document Cloud.)

Steve Silberman. “The invisible enemy.” Wired magazine, February 2007.

Reuters Health. “Field hospitals source of soldier infections.” June 18, 2007.

The Iraq Infections

Please see the original at EpiNewswire

June 1, 2011 Posted by | Acinetobacter, Contractor Casualties, Department of Defense, Friendly Fire, Safety and Security Issues, Traumatic Brain Injury | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stevan Nathan Ringo, Ex-Army sgt, sentenced in fuel theft plot Afghanistan

Associated Press at Beaumont Enterprise

.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former U.S. Army staff sergeant has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for his role in a fuel theft scheme to solicit bribes from a government contractor in Afghanistan.

Twenty-six-year-old Stevan Nathan Ringo of Marrero, La., was also ordered at sentencing on Friday to forfeit the proceeds of the scheme, more than $400,000.

Ringo pleaded guilty in September to bribery.

According to court documents, Ringo was stationed in Afghanistan when he accepted cash from a government contractor in exchange for creating and submitting fraudulent paperwork permitting that contractor to steal fuel.

Prosecutors say the paperwork allowed the contractor to steal $1.4 million worth of fuel.  Please see the original here

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Government Contractor, Pentagon | , , , | Leave a comment

Army orders $27.5 million in Comtech tracking system

Newsday Business Briefs

Melville defense contractor Comtech Telecommunications Corp. says it has received new orders worth $27.5 million from the U.S. Army for a vehicle tracking and communications system that has proved valuable in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and in domestic emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina.

Comtech said it got the new orders as part of an existing Army contract for MT-2012 satellite transceivers. The Movement Tracking Systems are made by Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp., a Germantown, Md., subsidiary, and allow the military to track its vehicles and communicate with them via satellite links, even in deserts and other isolated war zones, eliminating the need for radio repeaters or other hardware.  See the original here

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Contract Awards, Contracts Awarded, Department of Defense, Government Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Efraim Diveroli, AEY, Sentenced for Defrauding the Defense Department

The sale of banned Chinese ammunition to the U.S. Army in Afghanistan landed the 25-year-old from Miami Beach in trouble, and led to his guilty plea.

Efraim Diveroli after his arrest for drunk driving on Miami Beach in 2008. MIAMI-DADE

BY JAY WEAVER at The Miami Herald

jweaver@MiamiHerald.com

Efraim Diveroli, an arms-dealing wunderkind from Miami Beach who had scored a $300 million munitions contract with the Pentagon, was sentenced Monday to four years in prison by a federal judge who scolded him for a life of deception, gambling and substance abuse.

Diveroli, now 25, captured the attention of Congress when he was arrested in 2008 on charges of selling banned Chinese ammunition to the U.S. Army to supply Afghan forces fighting insurgents. He pleaded guilty the next year to one count of conspiring to defraud the Department of Defense.

“It is a sad day when anyone values their self-worth by a dollar sign,” U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard told Diveroli, whose emotional sentencing was attended by about 50 family members and supporters.

“If it wasn’t so amazing, you would laugh that such a young man could attain such responsibilities,” she said, noting he won the massive military contract when he was only 21 years old.

“But to participate in such a fraud when people are putting their lives on the line, it makes it so much sadder,” she said. “It makes the heart ache. And all for money.”

Please read the entire story here

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Department of Defense, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Army has tough time recruiting translators for Afghanistan war

Recruiters in Los Angeles walk the streets of Little Persia trying to find candidates who speak Dari, Pashto or Farsi, but many in the communities have reservations about the war.

By Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times

The day after President Barack Obama declared an end to the combat mission in Iraq, Aman Zamani walked the main thoroughfare of Little Persia to recruit soldiers for the country’s other war.

He strolled down Westwood Boulevard, passing an Iranian music store and young men in Armani jeans, and walked into Saffron & Rose Ice Cream. He chatted with the owner in Farsi and ordered white rose ice cream with milk, fulfilling a cultural obligation to make a purchase from a shopkeeper before talking business. A map of ancient Persia hung on a wall by the door.

Zamani knew the shop was popular with young Afghans and Iranians, so he’d brought along a thick stack of business cards. But today, the shop was empty. He finished his ice cream and left.

“It is a hard job to find the right person to recruit for the Army,” he said.

As the United States continues its military shift from Iraq to Afghanistan, the recruitment of Army translators and interpreters has followed, and Zamani, a contractor who recruits for the Army, is among those who have fanned out to Afghan and Persian communities and shopping districts looking for potential linguists to help fight the war.

The recruitment trail can be challenging. The pool of candidates who speak Dari, Pashto or Farsi is far thinner than the Arabic speakers the military sought out during the Iraq war. And many in the communities have reservations about the war.

The Army has been able to sign up only nine Los Angeles-area recruits for the language program in the last year, far short of the goal of 48 local enlistees and just a fraction of the 250 signed nationwide.

“It’s a much smaller population…. We’re involved in a lot of community liaison activities and I expect this year to do more than in years past,” said Lt. Col. Frank Demith, assistant deputy for foreign language and culture for the Army. “It’s much harder to recruit.”

The Army’s projected shortage of translators comes at a time when the need is most crucial — as the U.S. ramps up preparing an Afghan police, army and justice system and meeting with local councils in preparation for an eventual U.S. withdrawal.

Last weekend, NATO leaders set a goal of 2014 to transfer security responsibilities to the Afghan government — a longer timeline than initially thought — as alliance forces increasingly focus on training, advising and logistics, areas in which specialized linguists are critical.

“You’re not simply looking for language, you’re looking for expertise, you’re looking for people who can operate in combat zones, you’re looking for people who can work with local officials,” said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Once enlisted, recruits go through basic training, though when deployed their names are not stitched onto their uniforms for security reasons. Some are quickly shipped to Afghanistan; others — especially women — remain stateside to train soldiers preparing to deploy.

On the front lines, translators often accompany commanders and high-level officials to meetings with Afghan governors and leaders. Sometimes their value goes beyond simple translations.

One soldier, who asked not to be identified because of security risks, recounted interceding when he saw U.S. soldiers shooting toward a mountain pass in Afghanistan during target practice. The soldier, who had grown up in the area, knew there was a village on the other side of the mountains and believes he probably prevented casualties.

Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz authorized the recruitment of soldiers with special language and cultural skills in 2003 after the U.S. invaded Iraq. At the time, the main focus was on Arabic, Turkish and Kurdish.

“Our mission mirrored our presence overseas,” Demith said.

Although military action began first in Afghanistan, Iraq was viewed as the longer commitment and Arabic remained the military’s main focus until troop deployment to Afghanistan began to spike.

The Arab population in the U.S. is three times larger than the Afghan and Persian population, and winning recruits in those communities is complicated because military contractors compete for the same pool of applicants, offering better pay and less long-term commitment.

Zamani, born in Kabul and a U.S. resident since 1981, began with the Los Angeles Army battalion in April but recently quit the assignment because of the long drive from his home in south Orange County. He now works for private firms that recruit for the Army.

During his six-month stint with the Army, Zamani met with potential recruits to explain the program and test their native language skills. It was a less-than-exhaustive examination.

“Can you tell me in Pashto, ‘I want to go to Afghanistan to work for the people?’ ” he asked a man who had been brought by a recruiter to the battalion in Encino.

The man, whose long black hair fell to his chin, repeated the sentence in Pashto.

“I want to join with the U.S. Army,” Zamani said, giving the man another line, which he repeated successfully. “OK, he speaks Pashto, English is good, whatever the process is you can start it.”

“That’s it?” the man asked, surprised.

Zamani gave him handouts in both English and Pashto and told him about the signing bonus, education money and citizenship. Even though the man was going on two years of unemployment with mounting debt, he still wasn’t eager to enlist.

The pitch to potential enlistees mainly focuses on the benefits, long-term stability and expedited citizenship rather than a patriotic appeal.

Occasionally, Zamani was confronted by people who felt his recruitment on behalf of the Army was a betrayal.

Please read the entire article here

November 27, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors | , , | Leave a comment

DynCorp International receives notice to proceed on contract to support Afghan Ministry of Defense

FALLS CHURCH, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)-DynCorp International (DI) today announced that it has received a notice to proceed on its contract with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) to assist the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) and NATO Training Mission (NTM) by providing mentors and trainers to develop the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense (MOD).

The contract was initially awarded in February 2010 and has a two year base period with an estimated value of $157.8 million, including a 60-day phase-in period to full performance. The total potential contract value is estimated to be $232.4 million, if the one year option period is exercised.

Under this Afghanistan Ministry of Defense Program Support contract, DI will provide dedicated in-depth mentoring, training, subject matter expertise, and programmatic support to CSTC-A staff and the Afghanistan MOD. The program supports development of organizational capacity and capability to assist Afghanistan MOD and Afghan National Army (ANA) forces in assuming full responsibility for their own security needs. DynCorp International will provide an estimated 275 qualified personnel to support the CSTC-A staff across numerous functional areas.

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Contract Awards, DynCorp | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

KBR Gives Uncle Sam the One Finger Salute

By David Isenberg Huffington Post

Le’s take a brief look at the world of rent a generals. Specifically, Lt. Gen. Sanchez. (USA-Ret.). Gen. Sanchez had a distinguished Army career and honorably served his country. He was the highest-ranking Hispanic in the United States Army when he retired on November 1, 2006.

Those who can remember past yesterday will recall that he served as the V Corps commander of coalition forces in Iraq from June 2003 to June 2004. While his time as commander was not without controversies ( hostile relations with Paul Bremer, torture scandal at Abu Ghraib, development of the Iraq insurgency) I assume he did the best he could.

For most retired officers that would have been enough. But evidently not for Gen. Sanchez. Evidently he felt the need to continue the fight; only now against U.S. civilians and injured veterans.

In February it was reported that the U.S. Army wass trying to stop him from continuing to be an expert for KBR in a lawsuit against it over civilian truck driver deaths and injuries.

Sanchez is being paid $650 an hour and has reviewed documents and written a report that support’s KBR’s contention it should not be held legally responsible for the deaths of six civilian truck drivers and the injuries of others in a 2004 ambush in Iraq.

The suing drivers and family members contend that KBR should have stopped the convoys when it was warned that attacks would increase on April 9, 2004, the first anniversary of the day allies in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq reached Baghdad.

KBR argues that the military approved sending the convoys out and several laws protect KBR from responsibility in a wartime situation. The Army contracts with KBR to provide transportation, food services and other logistical support.

In his report for KBR on the 2004 ambush, Sanchez writes that KBR leadership was getting “emotional, hyperbolic, CNN-filtered, open source information, not intelligence” that was warning that the convoys could be ambushed.

Sanchez says no battlefield leader could have known the convoy would be attacked. KBR leadership did stop convoys the day after six civilians were killed and 14 injured in the truck convoy ambush.
But KBR is also fighting law suits regarding the burn pits it operated in Iraq as I have written about here and here. To see KBR’s last update to the allegations click here.

KBR apparently thinks Gen. Sanchez has useful advice to offer here, even though I don’t recall the general having expertise in chemistry or toxicology.

Nevertheless KBR, to emulate Paddy” Chayefsky’s famed movie Network, is mad as hell and is not going to take it anymore. The evidence is contained in Exhibit 40, filed back on Feb. 23. I have put the most pertinet parts in boldface.

It is important to remember that KBR is in this position now because of the conduct of the United States. First, as the Army’s own AR 15-6 Report clearly admits, but for the Army’s failures in its own processes and procedures on April 9, 2004, the attack, injuries, and deaths associated with the Fisher case would never even have occurred. Second, but for the United States’ refusal to support KBR’s effort in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the District Court’s 2006 total dismissal of the lawsuits passed on the Political Question Doctrine, there is every reason to believe the Fifth Circuit would have sustained the dismissal.Instead, KBR (and indeed the United States itself in any future Political Question Doctrine dispute) is saddled with a very troublesome Fifth Circuit standard.’

Accordingly, KBR must be able to present the live trial expert testimony of Lieutenant General Sanchez, and to do so in precisely the form and content in which his report was submitted to the Court. This need was exacerbated by Judge Miller’s blatant disregard of the four military declarations submitted in his denial of KBR’s Political Question Doctrine motion, making the General’s live trial testimony possibly the only evidence that will sway Judge Miller.

Further, his testimony, including his statement reiterating the AR 15-6 Report’s admission of Army fault, will provide precisely the type of evidence needed to prove on appeal that these cases should have been dismissed on the basis of the Political Question Doctrine – that is, among other things, the failure to do so caused Army officers to present public criticism of each other at trial!

As we made clear in our original December 4, 2009 request, as a result of his senior military leadership position in Iraq during the relevant time period, Lieutenant General Sanchez has unique relevant expertise that is not available from any other source. As reflected in his report, the General will testify from that expertise about the circumstances in Iraq in April 2004, the Army’s prosecution of the war, KBR’s logistics support mission, and the actual events up to and on April 8 and 9, 2004 upon which these lawsuits are based. This expert testimony is crucial to KBR’s ability to defend itself on key issues such as state of mind, causation, and various affirmative defenses.

Lastly, as you know, throughout the five years of these lawsuits, KBR has carefully refrained from pointing its finger at the United States as the culpable entity. One result of KBR’s restraint in this regard has been that plaintiffs in these cases have gained a huge advantage in the public airing of these lawsuits. Plaintiffs have co-opted the Houston media and other press into presenting only the damning evidence plaintiffs allege prove that KBR intended to injure and kill its own employees for profit. As trial looms, KBR can no longer sit silent, and instead intends to aggressively make its case to the public, hopefully to prevent the entire jury pool from being

‘ We also urge the United States to support KBR in the litigation of these defenses in any appeal that KBR files in these cases.

prejudiced against the company. Towards this end, KBR intends to release Lieutenant General Sanchez’s expert report and deposition testimony to the press as part of this campaign.

KBR greatly appreciates the support the Army has provided the company in these (and other) lawsuits. But given the untenable posture of the cases and enormous exposure faced by KBR, we cannot overstate the need for the Army to approve this request for reconsideration, We trust that you will give this matter your full, serious, and immediate attention.

For those who remember Mario Puzo, KBR seems to be channeling the GodFather, and is making a Army thinly veiled offer it can’t refuse.

It will be interesting to see who blinks.              Original at Huffington Post

July 4, 2010 Posted by | KBR, Legal Jurisdictions, Pentagon, Wartime Contracting | , , | Leave a comment

Internal Army study cites more suicides than reported to public

By Byant Furlow at Epinews

May 26, 2010 — The U.S. Army’s publicly disclosed soldier suicide counts for 2008 and 2009, the highest on record, are lower than those reported in a new internal Army study obtained by epiNewswire.

The disparity is modest. The internal study, completed last month, lists a total of 311 soldier suicides for 2008 and 2009.   As of April 2010, the Army’s publicly disclosed suicide count for those two years totaled 300.

It is unclear whether the discrepancy is due to inaccurately low public disclosures or inaccurately high numbers in the internal study.

Because of the time sometimes required to confirm suicide determinations, estimated suicide rates for a given month can climb over a period of several months. But that does not appear to explain the disparity between the numbers reported to the public and those listed in the internal study.

The study reports 166 soldier suicides for 2009, for example — six more than the 160 Army officials reported to the Congress and journalists in April 2010, the same month the study was completed.

Army suicide data released to the public May 13 included “updated numbers for 2009” totaling 163 suicides, reflecting three newly confirmed suicides.   Two of those deaths had been initially declared accidental, according to an Army press release.

But the revised 2009 figure released this month was still lower than the 166 cases cited in the Army’s internal study.

“I think it’s reasonable for the numbers to change over time as new evidence is considered,” Maj. Remington Nevin, M.D., told  epiNewswire. “The larger point is that it is certainly possible that our official suicide numbers reflect only a proportion of the true burden of suicide, and that many “accidental” deaths may actually reflect intentional death.”

Please read the entire story here

May 26, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colonel to Admit Role in Iraq War Corruption

U.S. Army Veteran Is Accused of Taking More Than $50,000 in Bribes

By JOEL MILLMAN at WSJ

A 26-year veteran of the U.S. Army is the latest and highest-ranking officer to plead guilty in a contractor-corruption scandal rising out of the Iraq War.

Col. Kevin A. Davis, who retired from the military in 2005, has agreed to plead guilty next month in a U.S. court in Washington, D.C., according to federal court documents.

Col. Davis is charged with taking more than $50,000 in bribes to help a Kuwait-based contractor win a rigged bid to operate weapons warehouses in Iraq. Col. Davis then went to work for that same company, American Logistics Services, as a senior executive after leaving the military. Col. Davis later joined Lee Dynamics International, which was formed by George Lee, a U.S. citizen who also directed ALS.

LDI was banned from government service after being investigated in probes of defense-contract fraud in Iraq and Kuwait. Mr. Lee is under investigation, and officials say they will likely seek an indictment. LDI challenged the ban in court, but it was upheld. Mr. Lee’s attorney says his client denies any wrongdoing by both himself and any companies he was involved with.

Col. Davis declined through his attorney to speak about the case. He is expected to cooperate with federal investigators after his guilty plea is accepted, according to his lawyer.

Another officer expected to plead guilty next month is Capt. Markus E. McClain, according to federal officials familiar with the investigation. The Mississippian is charged with taking $15,000 to help a Kuwait-based firm secure a contract to provide vehicles to military convoys supplying bases in Iraq.

Capt. McClain, 31, didn’t respond to requests for comment. He served in Kuwait in 2004 after being called to active duty from the Mississippi Army National Guard. A guard spokesman said he resigned from his unit on March 1.

Col. Davis, 52 years old, is the highest-ranking officer to be implicated in a scheme known among federal investigators as the Cockerham Case, for Major John Cockerham, who pleaded guilty last year to receiving more than $9 million in illegal payments for defense contracts, primarily to service the Camp Arifjan military base in Kuwait.

Early in the probe, Major Gloria Dean Davis, came under suspicion by investigators in the case. She committed suicide in Baghdad in December 2006, hours after confirming she received more than $225,000 from the same contractor Col. Davis later joined as a civilian, LDI.

The two officers weren’t related, however investigators familiar with the case say they were involved romantically.

Capt. McClain reported to Maj. Davis in 2004.  Read this story in it’s entirety at WSJ

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Contractor Corruption, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment