Custer Battles Charged with Fraud in Iraqi Reconstruction

(This entire post is clipped directly from DemocracyNOW.)

A U.S. military contractor in Iraq is at the center of a controversy over how American-forces disbursed and accounted for hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraq.

The firm, Custer Battles is being charged in a lawsuit of defrauding the Coalition Provisional Authority of tens of millions of dollars during work in Iraq, which included securing Baghdad International Airport.

Two former employees sued the company last year under the False Claims Act, seeking to recover damages on behalf of the US government. They allege that Custer Battles repeatedly billed the occupation authorities for nonexistent services or at grossly inflated prices. A few months after they filed the suit, the Justice Department declined to intervene on the whistle-blowers’ behalf.

Because the case is the first to be unsealed involving the charges of fraud in the multibillion-dollar Iraqi reconstruction effort, it could set precedents.

  • Alan Grayson, attorney in the lawsuit by two former employees of Custer Battles. He testified about the case at a special Congressional hearing in February.
  • Pratap Chatterjee, the managing director of CorpWatch.org and author of “Iraq, Inc.

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