Two men sentenced to four years each for Afghanistan contract bribery

by bvernia | November 16th, 2009

DOJ announced on November 13 that two men received sentences of four years in Alexandria, Virginia, for attempting to bribe an Army captain in exchange for road construction contracts in Afghanistan. According to the press release:

The U.S. Army in Afghanistan is responsible for the Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP), which enables U.S. Army commanders in Afghanistan to use U.S. monies to fund humanitarian relief and reconstruction projects, including road construction, in that country. According to court documents, in 2009, the U.S. Army solicited bids from contractors to design and build a road in Logar Province, Afghanistan (the Logar Road Contract). The U.S. Army received numerous bids on the Logar Road Contract, including $18 million bids each from National General Construction Company (NGCC) and Hamed Lais Group (Hamed Lais), both general contracting firms in Afghanistan that Lodin and Farooqi claimed to represent.

Lodin and Farooqi admitted that on at least four occasions in May 2009, they met with an Army captain who was the public official responsible for managing the CERP in Logar Province. Lodin and Farooqi admitted they told the Army captain that they represented NGCC and Hamed Lais and were interested in securing the Logar Road Contract. Lodin and Farooqi admitted they offered the Army captain $1 million in bribes if he agreed to assist in disqualifying lower bidders on the Logar Road Contract and influence the award of the contract to NGCC and Hamed Lais.

Lodin and Farooqi admitted they stated they had political connections, and that to facilitate the award of the Logar Road Contract to NGCC and Hamed Lais, they could arrange for the blacklisting of lower priced bidders currently ranked ahead of their bid. Lodin and Farooqi admitted they had numerous conversations with the Army captain and discussed the following options for paying him to influence the award of the Logar Road Contract: they stated they could wire the Army captain $1 million through Dubai or Bangkok to a bank account; they offered to pay the Army captain $500,000 out of the first payment under the contract and $500,000 at the conclusion of the contract; and they offered to pay the Army captain $200,000 of the $1 million in cash before the award of the contract.

The case is being handled by Steve Linick and James Graham of DOJ’s Fraud Section.

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