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Bribery and Corruption Plague Camp Arifjan in Kuwait

August 13, 2010

Wednesday, DoJ announced the guilty plea of former DoD contract employee, Wajdi Birjas, for regularly bribing DoD officials.  According to court documents:

Birjas, acting at the direction of a contractor working in Kuwait, developed corrupt relationships with certain Army contracting officials, including Christopher Murray, James Momon and a sergeant first class deployed to Camp Arifjan as a senior procurement non-commissioned officer (NCO.) By bribing these Army contracting officials in 2005 and 2006, the contractor ultimately received a total of more than $1.7 million in connection with contracts to provide various goods and services to the U.S. military. In exchange for his assistance in the bribery scheme, Birjas received a share of the profits that the contracts generated and was allowed to live rent-free in a villa that contained a hidden safe.

“This case highlights the compelling need for comprehensive oversight of contractors and subcontractors working in war zones,” said Stuart W. Bowen, Jr., the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. “SIGIR remains committed to holding accountable those who chose to engage in criminal activity involving U.S. funds allocated for Iraq’s reconstruction.”  The conviction of Birjas is apparently just a small victory in a fight against a pandemic of corruption at the Kuwati-based $20 million U.S. national security outpost. According to DoJ, a dozen U.S. military personnel and independent contractors have already pled guilty to the fraud involving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. FraudBlawg previously has reported many bribery cases in Kuwait.

To report defense contracting fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.

  1. Blatant Bribes permalink

    The 101 Dumbest Moments In Business 2003 EDITION Whiffed pitch No. 6: blatant stereotyping. By Mark Athitakis April 1, 2003 (Business 2.0)– GRAND PRIZE WINNER, DUMBEST MOMENT OF 2002 In September, insurance company AmeriChoice brings trucks to blighted neighborhoods in New York City and gives away coupons for free chickens as an incentive for the underprivileged to switch their Medicare coverage. New York state senator Carl Kruger files a complaint with the state attorney general. The 101 Dumbest Moments In Business 2003 EDITION –

    2009 2010
    Philadelphia PA Mayor Nutter received two years in a row $60,000 in checks to help keep open and operate the city swimming polls. These checks came from AmeriChoice Health and on the surface seems like fine gifts. Yet,they are Bribes non the less, these checks come from a company who receives all its money from the Federal State Governments as a vendor for Medicare Medicaid services is not allowed to offer bribes inducements,kickbacks and money gifts of any kind in order to promote its share of the market place. This is also not allowed as a use of your taxpayers dollars, yes it happens. Americhoice Health has a long history of corruption Yet,it seems to be protected by those who are responsible to over see their actions why is that? Sorry must apologize just received a notice that AmeriChoice Health was under the impression they thought they were suppose to have started their very own stimulus and economic program package and the one they implemented, they had no idea it violated the Stark,Health and Kickbacks laws.

    Among its provisions, the anti-kickback statute penalizes anyone who knowingly and willfully solicits, receives, offers or pays remuneration in cash or in kind to induce, or in return for: A. Referring an individual to a person for the furnishing, or arranging for the furnishing, of any item or service payable under the Medicare or Medicaid program; or B. Purchasing, leasing or ordering , or arranging for or recommending purchasing, leasing or ordering, any goods, facility, service or item payable under the Medicare or Medicaid program. Violators are subject to criminal penalties, or exclusion from participation in the Medicare and Medicaid rograms, or both. A violation of the anti-kickback law is a felony offense that carries criminal fines of up to $25,000 per violation, imprisonment for up to five years and exclusion from government health care programs.The federal anti-kickback statute, 42 U.S.C.§ 1320a-7b(b), prohibits individuals or entities from knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid or any other federally funded program.

    Since all Ameri-Choice checks come from the United Health’s home office they should be held equally responsible for any bribes, kickbacks, Stark, Fraud and inducements violations that may have occured. Federal and State Governments have developed such a depended position with this company, guess the laws and rules no longer apply for them. Protected vendor status sure, politics sure, limited government budgets sure, Federal and State officals looking the other way sure, and rather then stop these activities a strong desire not to rock the boat exists. The Government created this monster and now they don’t know what to do about it, like shooting yourself in your own foot etc. Tons of money to advance their national growth, its market positions, tons of money for political donations, tons of money to send 75 millon back to its home office from New York state alone, tons of money to suppot National TV shows, tons of money to pay hugh State fines, tons of money to hire the very best law firms, tons of money for hugh salarys and bonuses, all done on the back of the American taxpayor, you see this company receives all its money from the Federal State governments.

    PS In New Jersey Licensed Agents were fired for refusal to deliver bribes checks.

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  1. Alabama Jury Convicts Couple of Bribery at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait « FraudBlawg

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