Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Iraq Contracting Officer to Plead Guilty

Robert Stein, who was a contracting officer for the Southern Region of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, has agreed to plead guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy related to a scheme to steal upwards of $2 million through contract awards to a businessman identified as Philip Bloom.  Stein awarded approximately $8.6 million worth of contracts to Bloom, each less than $500,000 because that was the limit of his authority without further authorization.  In an example of the type of stuff no one engaged in a fraud would ever commit to paper, but for some reason is written into an e-mail, Stein wrote to Bloom that "I love to give you money" related to a $200,000 to build a police academy.  In response to an e-mail from Bloom regarding using different company names for the contracts, Stein responded, "Since we are paid in cash it really doesn't matter tax wise."  That's right, if you're evading taxes, but it surely does matter for a fraud (and tax evasion) case.  In addition to Bloom, an AP story reports (here) that five Army reserve officers have also been implicated in the fraud/kickback scheme.  Of course, there may have been another tip-off to possible problems involving Stein: he was convicted in 1996 of bank fraud and sentenced to an eight-month term of imprisonment (see earlier post here). (ph)

Corruption, Fraud | Permalink

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» Contract fraud in Iraq from Collateral Evidence
Over at White Collar Crime Prof Blog, they highlight the story of one (and I'm sure not the last) instance that just came to light. [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 2, 2006 10:14:08 AM

» I love to give you money (as long as you're in Ira from ReidBlog
It's clear that Iraq has become a huge federal money pit. Now we're finding out that it was also a cash machine ... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 2, 2006 7:21:52 PM


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