Almotamar.net International Herald Tribune - WASHINGTON: Three Army Reserve officers and a U.S. contractor were indicted Wednesday as part of a bid-rigging scam that steered millions of dollars of Iraq reconstruction projects to a contractor in exchange for cash, luxury cars, jewelry and other pricey goods.
The husband of one of the military officials also was charged for helping smuggle at least $10,000 (€7,700) into the United States that the couple used to pay for improvements to their New Jersey house.
The scam was outlined in a 25-count indictment filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.
The three Reserve officers were responsible for supervising how the U.S.-managed Coalition Provisional Authority spent an estimated $2.1 billion (€1.6 billion) available for reconstruction projects in Iraq.
The indictment says the three officers — Col. Curtis G. Whiteford, Lt. Col. Debra M. Harrison and Lt. Col. Michael B. Wheeler — directed at least $8 million (€6.2 million) to a construction and services company. In return, they allegedly demanded cash, a Nissan sports car, a Cadillac sport utility vehicle, real estate, a Breitling watch, business-class plane tickets and other items.
The contractor, identified in the indictment as Seymour Morris Jr., allegedly acted as a go-between for the military officers and the construction company by illegally wiring money and securing the goods. Morris is a U.S. citizen who lived in Romania, and owned and operated a Cyprus-based financial services business.
A Saudi aggression fighter jet targeted a citizen's car driving in Fara area of Kutaf district in Saada province overnight, killing the driver and injuring his friend, a security official said on Monday.
Scores of Saudi enemy soldiers were killed and injured on Sunday when the army and popular forces repelled a Saudi military attempt to sneak into Shurfah site in the border province of Najran, a military official said.
The operation was accomplished successfully against the Saudi
Saudi aggression warplanes have launched more than 49 airstrikes over the past hours on several residential areas across Yemen, a security official said on Sunday.
The airstrikes targeted the areas of Malahiz and Husama in Dhahir district, and areas Thuban, Masahif and Sdad in Bakim district of northern Saada province.