Iraq contractor jailed for defrauding millions from US State Department

Iraq contractor jailed for defrauding millions from US State Department
US authorities jail a contractor who conspired to charge the US State Department hugely inflated rents for a training facility in Iraq.
2 min read
07 October, 2017
An inflated rent bill handed to the State Department totalled over $5.3 million [AFP]


A US court sentenced a former government contractor 
to three years in prison on Friday for defrauding millions of dollars from the US State Department.

According to prosecutors, 57-year-old Jose Rivera worked with two associates to mislead contractor Dyncorp into paying inflated rent costs for a training camp in Iraq.

The hugely inflated bill handed to the State Department totalled more than $5.3 million.

Prosecutors say that the conspiracy was led by Wesley Struble, who is currently serving a four-year sentence. Struble was working at the time for another contractor that had been leasing property at Baghdad International Airport for $124,000 a month.

Knowing that DynCorp was looking for property in Iraq, Struble approached Rivera and others at the Iraqi leasing company and increased the rent to $665,000.

Profits from this inflated price were split among the conspirators.

Presiding over the case, Judge Leonie Brinkema said that Rivera's punishment should "make sure other people involved in government contracting know that if they commit fraud, even over there, there will be consequences."

It is likely, however, that Rivera's sentence will be reduced in return for his cooperation with authorities. Next month, the former contractor is expected to testify against a co-conspirator.

Rivera and Struble are now liable for the $3.4 million in excess charges paid by the US State Department.

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