Tip of the iceberg, man charged in Iraq kickback scheme
A Texas man pleaded guilty Friday to taking kickbacks for work in Iraq that was contracted by a support command unit headquartered at the Rock Island Arsenal.Now if they'd just do a little more investigation about the missing $10 billion that's gone unaccounted for in Iraq, or the several verified reports of money being stacked on pallets and handed out off the back of trucks.
Glenn Allen Powell, 40, of Cedar Park, entered the guilty plea in U.S. District Court, Peoria, for major fraud against the U.S. government and violating the Anti-Kickback Act. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a $1.25 million fine and up to six years of supervised release.
According to the plea agreement, Mr. Powell was a subcontracts administrator in Iraq from October 2003 to Jan. 6 for the prime contractor, Kellogg, Brown and Root Services, Inc. [Note: A division of Haliburton]
The company started investigating Mr. Powell on Jan. 6, according to the plea agreement. Company representatives searched Mr. Powell's quarters in Baghdad and found $8,000 in U.S. $100 bills in a jacket, $1,580 in U.S. currency on top of a refrigerator and 5,044,000 in Iraqi dinars - the equivalent of $3,452 -- stacked behind clothing on the top shelf of a dresser.
Kellogg, Brown and Root security personnel then interviewed Mr. Powell and he admitted to making an agreement with undisclosed company to get 20 percent of the $609,000 subcontract as a kickback, according to the plea agreement.
The money found during the search of Mr. Powell's quarters was money he'd received from a payment in October 2004.
This is the second time this year that an employee of Kellogg, Brown and Root Services has been charged with taking kickbacks for contract work.
Jeff Alex Mazon, 36, a former employee of the company, and Ali Hijazi, the managing partner of a Kuwaiti business, are charged in U.S. District Court, Rock Island, with four counts of major fraud against the United States government and six counts of wire fraud.
The two are accused of devising a scheme to defraud the United States of more than $3.5 million through a subcontract awarded to a Kuwaiti company, LaNouvelle General Trading and Contracting Co. That company was contracted to provide fuel tankers for military operations in Kuwait.
Mr. Mazon has pleaded innocent to the charges. Mr. Hijazi has never made an appearance in the case.