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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 04:50 PM
Original message
US Army officer charged in Iraq contract bribe scam
ABC News
US Army officer charged in Iraq contract bribe scam
Reuters

Dec 1, 2005 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Army officer who served with the U.S. governing administration in Iraq was arrested on charges involving bribery, money laundering and a fraud scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

Army Reserve Lt. Col. Michael Wheeler, 47, was arrested on Wednesday and was being held in Wisconsin, the department said in a statement. He is the third person charged in the past few weeks in connection with the scheme.

The Justice Department said Wheeler was on active duty for the U.S. Army in 2003 and 2004 and was responsible for developing contract solicitations and ordering contracts for reconstruction efforts for the Coalition Provisional Authority South Central Region.

According to court papers, Wheeler and his co-conspirators accepted money and gifts to rig contract bids. Wheeler is also accused of stealing and laundering funds from the CPA.
(snip/...)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=1363850
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Any idea what contractors and/or lobbyists may be involved? n/t
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. There's almost NOTHING available on this guy, yet.
This looks like the same story, with a couple of words more than the one posted. I also wondered what ELSE is going on here.

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=dom...
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Looks like he may be stealing from his own son's school, & from Iraqi kids
Edited on Thu Dec-01-05 05:14 PM by IanDB1


<snip>

Local students learned Wednesday hat the 11 boxes of school supplies they donated to a new elementary school in Hilla, Iraq, were received by Iraqi elementary students, said Principal Tess Lecy-Wojcik. Lt. Col. Michael Wheeler, a Stevens Point firefighter who is stationed in Iraq and has a son at Iola-Scandinavia, got the students to pitch in on the project late last year.

<snip>

Natasha Thern and Severina Scott, two 11-year-old sixth graders at Iola-Scandinavia, said they were proud their school was able to help others.

Scott donated crayons and pencils to the Iraqi students. "I thought it was great because they aren't as fortunate as we are since they're a war-torn country.
"I think the kids really need the same school supplies and benefits we do," she said.

More:
http://www.wisinfo.com/journal/spjlocal/279913908359426...

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Good catch. Sure looks like it!
Locals built the school and the Coalition Provisional Authority - the agency led by the United States and United Kingdom to rebuild Iraq - paid for the school with former regime assets, said CPA spokeswoman Hilary White.
(snip)
Looks as if he could be close to some excellent pilfering opportunities. Horrid.

It's a different kind of gold rush, it would seem. Every man for himself.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Anyone who could serve as a scapegoat
for the White House, and who also wouldn't have incriminating evidence that would lead to the White House.
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readmylips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. How about arresting Bremmer who stole 9M from US
tax payers...yeah!
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. I wondered many times how that pie was cut after Bremer was
granted a license to steal and had the privilege to wear a white hat.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. Are these all the same guy?
Fri, Feb 27, 2004
Iola gifts reach Iraq
Supplies sent by students used in new Liberation School
By KATE GARSOMBKE
Journal staff


Iraqi students will be able to jot down their assignments and tote their homework in backpacks thanks to donations from Iola-Scandinavia Elementary School students.

Local students learned Wednesday that the 11 boxes of school supplies they donated to a new elementary school in Hilla, Iraq, were received by Iraqi elementary students, said Principal Tess Lecy-Wojcik. Lt. Col. Michael Wheeler, a Stevens Point firefighter who is stationed in Iraq and has a son at Iola-Scandinavia, got the students to pitch in on the project late last year.

The shipment of supplies comes on the heels of the Feb. 13 opening of the Liberation School in Hilla, a neighborhood elementary school for more than 400 boys and girls. Locals built the school and the Coalition Provisional Authority - the agency led by the United States and United Kingdom to rebuild Iraq - paid for the school with former regime assets, said CPA spokeswoman Hilary White.

The school was built so the Iraqi children would not have to walk as far and cross a busy street, which they had to do to travel to their old school, White said.

More:
http://www.wisinfo.com/journal/spjlocal/279913908359426...



Title: Chem-Bio, USAF Water Systems at Risk
<snip>

V. Protecting the Force

In a world of sophisticated and expensive weapon systems, base defense is not a glamorous mission and is therefore not given the priority it requires.

Lt Col Michael Wheeler The Reality of Air Base Defense
http://www.globalsecurity.org/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/webinat...
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cpc-pubs/hickman.ht...

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classysassy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
7. An officer and a thief
SUPPORT THE TROOPS.
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 09:39 AM
Response to Original message
10. kick
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
11. Army Officer Charged in Iraq Investigation(smuggling stolen $$$)
A United States Army officer was charged yesterday with smuggling hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen cash from Iraq and using some of it to buy machine guns, grenade launchers and other illegal arms that were later found in a garage in North Carolina. He is the third person to be arrested in a widening investigation by a special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

The officer, Lt. Col. Michael Brian Wheeler, 47, of Amherst Junction, Wis., was a reservist called to active duty in Iraq, where he helped supervise millions of dollars in reconstruction projects from September 2003 until July 2004, according to a United States Army official and the affidavit describing the charges, unsealed in the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia. The money that was said to have been stolen and smuggled was intended for those reconstruction projects, including a library, a police academy and a center to promote democracy.

The affidavit hinted that others were likely to be charged in what officials say was an extensive bribery, kickback and smuggling scheme based in an office of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Hilla, south of Baghdad. The authority was the American administrative apparatus that ran Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

Two weeks ago, Robert J. Stein Jr., a civilian occupation official, was charged with receiving as much as $200,000 a month in bribes from an American contractor, Philip H. Bloom, to steer construction contracts to companies controlled by Mr. Bloom, who was also charged with crimes.


more:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/02/international/middlee...
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. So is this where some of the missing billions went?
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Dupe
Edited on Fri Dec-02-05 09:01 AM by SharonRB
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. more "isolated bad apples"?
also from your link:

But if they had worked together, the contractor said, it would not be surprising for them to have bought large quantities of weapons with some of the money. Mr. Stein appeared obsessed with weaponry and his Hilla apartment was packed with everything from grenade launchers to AK-47's, the contractor said.

The unsealed charges make it clear that prosecutors believe others were involved in the scandal. The charges refer to a "Co-conspirator 3" and his spouse, several other unnamed officials, and an Iraqi said to be cooperating with prosecutors and referred to as Witness A.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
15. Army Officer Charged in Iraq Investigation
(Read the entire article, including donating schools supplies from Americans)

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/02/international/middlee...

<snip>
A United States Army officer was charged yesterday with smuggling hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen cash from Iraq and using some of it to buy machine guns, grenade launchers and other illegal arms that were later found in a garage in North Carolina. He is the third person to be arrested in a widening investigation by a special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

The officer, Lt. Col. Michael Brian Wheeler, 47, of Amherst Junction, Wis., was a reservist called to active duty in Iraq, where he helped supervise millions of dollars in reconstruction projects from September 2003 until July 2004, according to a United States Army official and the affidavit describing the charges, unsealed in the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia. The money that was said to have been stolen and smuggled was intended for those reconstruction projects, including a library, a police academy and a center to promote democracy.

The affidavit hinted that others were likely to be charged in what officials say was an extensive bribery, kickback and smuggling scheme based in an office of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Hilla, south of Baghdad. The authority was the American administrative apparatus that ran Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

Two weeks ago, Robert J. Stein Jr., a civilian occupation official, was charged with receiving as much as $200,000 a month in bribes from an American contractor, Philip H. Bloom, to steer construction contracts to companies controlled by Mr. Bloom, who was also charged with crimes.


.....more
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