<\body> Stories in America: Ex-KBR Contractor Sentenced for Iraq Kickbacks

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ex-KBR Contractor Sentenced for Iraq Kickbacks

There are about 100,000 contractors in Iraq and that's not counting subcontractors, according to the military's first census. How many of those contractors take kickbacks and get away with it? Sadly, we'll never know.
A former employee of KBR, the Pentagon's largest private contractor in Iraq, was sentenced to a year in prison by a federal judge late last week for taking kickbacks from a Saudi company to which he awarded dining subcontracts in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Joe McDade also ordered Stephen Lowell Seamans to pay restitution of $380,130 for taking $133,000 in kickbacks for directing the KBR contracts worth $21.8 million to Tamimi Global Co., the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois said in a statement.

KBR, which was spun off from oil services group Halliburton Co. through an initial public offering last month, has billed more than $16 billion for work in Iraq.

Seamans, who pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud and conspiracy for taking the kickbacks, worked in 2002 and 2003 as procurement materials and property manager for KBR in Kuwait, where he awarded work to subcontractors under KBR's multibillion-dollar LOGCAP III contracts with the U.S. Army.

Seamans had also pleaded guilty taking another kickback for a cleaning services contract.

Judge McDade also sentenced Mohammad Shabbir Khan, Tamimi's former director of operations in Kuwait and Iraq, to four years and three months in prison for his role in the kickback scheme.

Khan, a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty in June to 12 counts of wire fraud and one count each of money laundering and making a false statement.

Halliburton, formerly headed by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, has drawn attention for its work in Iraq from auditors and the Justice Department, which has investigated the company's billing practices for fuel, dining and laundry services.

Last week, KBR agreed to pay $8 million to settle allegations of charging and irregularities for its U.S. Army contract in the Balkans.


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