Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Businessman Cooperating in Iraq Fraud Investigation

American businessman Philip Bloom entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors in February in connection with the ongoing investigation of fraud in the award of contracts through the Coalition Provisional Authority for work in rebuilding Iraq.  Bloom was charged in 2005, along with CPA contracting official Robert Stein, with fraud for making approximately $2 million in payments in exchange for over $8 million in contracts.  Key evidence in the case includes e-mails between Bloom and military officials discussing the cars they wanted in exchange for approving the contracts.  Among the vehicles supplied were a GMC Yukon and a Nissan 350Z.  Showing once again that people do not seem to understand that e-mails actually exist after hitting the "Send" key, one military officer sent a message to Bloom stating that "If there were any smoking guns, they would have been found months ago."  Needless to say, that e-mail pretty much qualifies as the aforesaid weapon with the white cloud around it.  A Washington Post story (here) discusses Bloom's plea agreement. (ph)

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