Friday, February 9, 2007
The Department of Justice announced the indictment of five more defendants for fraud involving the Coalition Provisional Authority-Southern Command in Iraq. Three were senior Army officers, Colonel Curtis G. Whiteford and Lt. Colonels Debra M. Harrison and Michael B. Wheeler, and two are civilians, Michael Morris and William Driver; Harrison and Driver are married. A press release (here) discusses the charges in the 25-count federal indictment filed in New Jersey:
Whiteford, once the second-most senior official at CPA-SC, was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery, and 11 counts of honest services wire fraud. Harrison, at one time the acting Comptroller at CPA-SC who oversaw the expenditure of CPA-SC funds for reconstruction projects, was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery, 11 counts of honest services wire fraud, four counts of interstate transport of stolen property, one count of bulk cash smuggling, four counts of money laundering, and one count of preparing a false tax form. Wheeler, an advisor for CPA projects for the reconstruction of Iraq, was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery, 11 counts of honest services wire fraud, one count of interstate transport of stolen property, and one count of bulk cash smuggling.
Three others involved in the case have already entered guilty pleas, with Robert Stein, the former comptroller for the CPA-SC, sentenced to nine years in prison. According to the indictment, Harrison and Driver "allegedly received a Cadillac Escalade as a bribe and used tens of thousands of dollars for improvements to their home in Trenton. Whiteford allegedly received at least $10,000 in cash, a $3,200 watch, a job offer from [a coconspirator], and other valuables." (ph)