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Former U.S. Army Officer Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison for Bribery and Weapons Conspiracy

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:34 PM
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Former U.S. Army Officer Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison for Bribery and Weapons Conspiracy
Former U.S. Army Officer Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison for Bribery and Weapons Conspiracy

WASHINGTONMichael Wheeler, a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, was sentenced late yesterday to 42 months in prison for his participation in a wide-ranging bribery conspiracy involving the U.S. government, the Republic of Iraq and the Coalition Provisional Authority - South Central Region (CPA-SC) in Al-Hillah, Iraq, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. Wheeler was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mary L. Cooper for the District of New Jersey Trenton Division to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term and to pay $1,200 in restitution.

Wheeler, 50, of Amherst Junction, Wis., was charged in a 25-count indictment unsealed on Feb. 7, 2007, along with former U.S. Army Colonel Curtis G. Whiteford, former Lt. Col. Debra M. Harrison, and civilians William Driver and Seymour Morris Jr., with various crimes related to a scheme to defraud the CPA-SC. Wheeler was an adviser and project officer for CPA reconstruction projects.

According to testimony at trial, Wheeler, along with Whiteford and Harrison, conspired from December 2003 to December 2005 with at least three othersRobert Stein, at the time the comptroller and funding officer for the CPA-SC; Philip H. Bloom, a U.S. citizen who owned and operated several companies in Iraq and Romania; and former U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bruce D. Hopfengardnerto rig the bids on contracts being awarded by the CPA-SC so that more than 20 contracts were awarded to Bloom. In total, Bloom received approximately $8 million in rigged contracts. Testimony revealed that Bloom, in return, provided Whiteford, Harrison, Wheeler, Stein, Hopfengardner and others with more than $1 million in cash, SUVs, sports cars, a motorcycle, jewelry, computers, business class airline tickets, liquor, promise of future employment with Bloom and other items of value.

Bloom admitted he laundered more than $2 million in currency that Whiteford, Harrison, Wheeler, Hopfengardner, Stein and others stole from the CPA-SC that had been designated for the reconstruction of Iraq. Bloom then used his foreign bank accounts in Iraq, Romania and Switzerland to send some of the stolen money to Harrison, Stein, Hopfengardner and other Army officials in return for them awarding contracts to Bloom and his companies.

http://washingtondc.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel10/wfo0...
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BunkerHill24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:51 PM
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1. Nearly $100 million in Iraqi reconstruction cash is missing
This guy is just small fish. We know that millions of dollars shrink-wrapped bricks of new hundred-dollar bills can't be accounted for...maybe this is hush-hush prosecution.
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