Criminal Justice

Weapons Fraud Investigated

The government is conducting 73 criminal investigations of contract fraud and bribery in the delivery of weapons and supplies to Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, the New York Times reports.

“Investigations span the gamut from low-level officials submitting false claims for amounts less than $2,500 to more serious cases involving conspiracy, bribery, product substitution and bid-rigging or double-billing involving large dollar amounts or more senior contracting officials,” the Times says. “The investigations involve contractors, government employees, local nationals and American military personnel.”

One of the investigations concerns a senior American officer, Lt. Col. Levonda Joey Selph, who helped supply Iraqi forces through a company that failed to live up to its contract terms, the Times says. The newspaper says it’s unclear what Selph is being investigated for.

An Army spokesman told the Times that the probes have so far led to charges against 20 civilians and military personnel. They involve contracts worth more than $5 billion and more than $15 million in alleged bribes.

In one of the latest indictments, an Army major and his wife and his sister were accused of taking up to $9.6 million in bribes for defense contracts in Iraq and Kuwait.

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