Thursday, February 09, 2006

$82 million War Profiteer - Robert J. Stein Jr. GUILTY plea

US News Article | Reuters.com: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Pentagon contractor put in charge of at least $82 million in reconstruction money earmarked for the Iraqi city of Hilla will plead guilty to conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and other crimes, The New York Times reported on its Web site on Thursday.
Robert J. Stein Jr., given the job by the Coalition Provisional Authority despite a prior conviction on felony fraud, will enter the guilty plea on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the Times said, citing court papers.
The papers say the corruption ring also involved U.S. businessman Philip H. Bloom and five Army reserve officers.
Bloom received millions of dollars in contracts from Stein to build a police academy and other facilities in Iraq, the Times said. Stein also grabbed millions for himself.
Stein used some of the stolen money to buy grenade launchers, machine guns, a luxury automobile, a Cessna aircraft, North Carolina real estate and other goods, the newspaper reported.
Bloom used some of the money to maintain a villa in Baghdad where he provided women who supplied sexual favors to officials he hoped to influence, including Stein.
Bloom's lawyer, Robert A. Mintz, declined to comment.
In all, Stein is accused of stealing at least $2 million in U.S. taxpayer money and Iraqi funds, receiving at least $1 million in direct bribes and misappropriating another $600,000 in cash and goods from the Coalition Provisional Authority.
Stein and his co-conspirators used rigged bids to steer at least $8.6 million to Bloom and others, the Times reported."

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