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Halliburton w/benefit from new Fed ruling to limit suits vs Iraq contracts

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cyberpj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:59 AM
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Halliburton w/benefit from new Fed ruling to limit suits vs Iraq contracts
This is an outrage and happened right under our noses with no real press coverage. Please contact your congress people and newspapers about this! - And nominate for front page attention...

U.S. judge limits use of fraud law against Iraq contractors
By Erik Eckholm The New York Times

A federal judge has issued a ruling that will limit the applicability of a critical antifraud statute against corporate contractors in Iraq.

Judge T.S. Ellis 3rd of U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, held on Monday that the False Claims Act did not apply to the many contractors who were paid by the American occupation authority using Iraqi oil money.

The False Claims Act offers large rewards to corporate insiders who reveal misdeeds, and huge financial penalties can be imposed on errant companies. It is widely regarded as the government's most potent weapon against contractor fraud.

The district court decision, which is the first to provide guidelines in what has been a legal void, could derail some whistle-blower lawsuits that are in their early stages and still under seal, experts in the field of procurement law declared.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 12:49 PM
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1. Ok, so this US company, Custer Battles,
had security and logistical contracts in Iraq, and was paid more than a 100 million dollars.

The whistleblowers say Custer Battles cheated 10 million dollars by using shell companies to file non-existant, but yet overpriced invoices.

That sounds like thievry to me.

Instead of being paid out of US tax dollars, they were paid by the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Custer Battles' lawyers argued that since the theft involved Iraqi funds, and not US Treasury funds, the whistleblower lawsuit should be dropped.

The judge says that since the money didn't come from the US Treasury, but came from the Coalition Provisional Authority the theft isn't subject to the False Claims Act.

From this statement in the article I'm hoping that the Justice Department will take this further:

The Justice Department said in its argument that because the Iraqi oil funds were controlled and spent by American officials, the False Claims Act should apply.

Imagine the amount of fraud involved with that 17 billion dollars from the Coalition Provisional Authority. Those who have cheated the Coalition still have cheated the Treasury, because the defrauded and lost money that was needed for reconstructing Iraq, is certainly being made up out of the tax payer's pocket - which then again, I'm sure is subjected to more fraud by the very same companies.

Somewhere, somehow there has to be justice. The article doesn't say, but I wonder if Custer Battles is still over there defrauding along with the other thieves.

Whatever happened to honor and integrity? It's always the poor or the hard working who get shafted and hurt, whether it's in Iraq or over here.

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cyberpj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for your info on this.
I was so busy scanning the article and feeling outraged I completely missed the DOJ part. That leaves a little hope to hang onto. Still, none of this ever seems to get into the evening news so that people can react to it, does it?

This country is run by the corporate mafia and they're busy rewriting all the laws for themselves and no one's paying attention.

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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. You know, it almost seems as if
the Coalition Provisional Authority money was set up to be used frauduently. Espeically since there seems to be no accountablity with the money.

Weren't we told from the beginning that this money would be used to assure that Iraq's recovery would pay for itself? (Something I had a hard time believing in anyway.) Iraq can't very well do that if there is massive fraud, thereby causing even more US taxpayer money being paid out.

You're right, we don't hear about this. It is not discussed, and there seems to be no outrage.
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