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About $25M be forfeited to US to resolve criminal case

March 6, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have announced a settlement in a case involving falsified records about supplies being provided to the military.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release on Tuesday that the civil settlement is part of a global settlement involving a criminal case and False Claims Act allegations in which approximately $25 million will be forfeited to the U.S.

Court documents say Hikmatullah Shadman operated companies which charged the U.S. more than $77 million for delivering supplies to service members. An investigation found thousands of apparent falsified documents submitted by Shadman’s companies for payment.

Shadman’s primary company pleaded guilty in January to paying gratuities to two U.S. service members in Afghanistan, and to conspiracy to influence the award of subcontracts to ensure favorable treatment in the contracting process.

A criminal complaint filed in December 2015 in federal court in North Carolina charged Shadman with conspiracy and bribery related to payments made to two soldiers in 2009.

The charges followed efforts by the Justice Department to freeze more than $63 million in bank accounts controlled by Shadman, with authorities alleging the money was fraudulently obtained from the government through inflated trucking contracts, according to a 2013 news release from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

The criminal complaint said at the time that law enforcement agencies had been investigating corruption in the war effort in Afghanistan and have uncovered evidence that Shadman’s company and others paid bribes to receive contracts despite charging more than competitors.

The complaint written by a North Carolina-based FBI agent said Shadman paid approximately $140,000 to an Army staff sergeant who was able to ask for specific Afghan trucking companies in his role managing supply requests at Kandahar Air Field, authorities said. The staff sergeant told investigators that he asked for money after hearing Shadman had paid other soldiers, according to the complaint.

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