Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

THREE MILITARY OFFICERS, FOUR DEFENSE CONTRACTORS AND THEIR COMPANIES CHARGED FOR DEFRAUDING DOD IN AFGHANISTAN

On June 19, 2009, Christopher P. West, a U.S. Army Major, and Patrick W. Boyd, a U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant pled guilty to various bribery, fraud, and conspiracy charges related to Department of Defense contracts in Afghanistan.

Charles Patton, a U.S. Army Sergeant pled guilty for receiving stolen property connected to the bribery conspiracy. Assad John Ramin and Tahir Ramin, both U.S. citizens, and their companies AZ Corporation and Top’s Construction, Noor Alam, an Afghan citizen, and his company Northern Reconstruction Organization, and Abdul Qudoos Bakhshi, an Afghan citizen, and his company Naweed Bakhshi Company were all indicted for bribing military officials and defrauding the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”).
Mr. West and Mr. Boyd pled guilty to three counts of bribery and three counts of conspiracy. He accepted $90,000 cash from contractors for the steering contracts to those contractors at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Mr. West also received payments for inflating the number of bunkers and barriers at Bagram Airfield. As such the DOD paid for goods that were invoiced but which were never received. Mr. Boyd also received an additional cash payment of $25,000 for steering a contract for telecommunication infrastructure at Bagram Airfield to a contractor. Mr. Patton, who was not deployed in Afghanistan, received the cash payments from Mr. West. Mr. Patton hid the money in his home in Chicago at the request of Mr. West, before he transferred $100,000 into a safe deposit box in his own name.

Mr. West and Mr. Boyd, along with Alam and Tahir Rahim, Noor Alam and his company and Naweed Bakhshi and his company, were originally indicted in August 2008. The superseding indictment now also includes AZ Corporation and Top’s construction. These individuals and their companies paid bribes to Mr. West and Mr. Boyd to obtain DOD contracts for supplying concrete bunkers and barriers and asphalt paving. They also conspired with Mr. West and Mr. Boyd to inflate the number of bunkers and barriers in the contracts so that the DOD was invoiced for goods that it never received.

Mr. West, Mr. Boyd, and Mr. Patton have agreed to pay the DOD $500,000, $130,000, $100,000 respectively in restitution and agreed to forfeit any fraud related assets. They also have agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation.


Andre Barlow

(202) 589-1834
abarlow@dbmlawgroup.com