On July 28, 2009, Nyree Patterson, the niece of former U.S. Army Major John Cockerham, pled guilty for her role in conspiracy to cover up her uncle’s involvement in accepting $9 million in bribes as a contracting officer at a Kuwaiti air base.
Ms. Pettaway admitted to going to Kuwait in late 2006 and receiving $3 million in cash to return to co-conspirators for safekeeping. On March 19, 2009, Carolyn Blake, sister of U.S. Army officer John Cockerham, pled guilty for her participation in a money-laundering scheme and accepting $3 million in bribes on behalf of her brother. On June 24, 2008, John Cockerham, a U.S. Army office, and his wife, Melissa Cockerham, of San Antonio pled guilty to charges of conspiracies to commit bribery and money laundering. Mr. Cockerham admitted to his role in a complex bribery and money laundering scheme as an Army major in Kuwait. He awarded illegal contracts for services to be delivered to troops in Iraq in exchange for $9 million in bribes. Mr. Cockerham directed contractors to pay his wife, sister, and others to hide the fact that he was receiving bribes. Mrs. Cockerham admitted to accepting $1 million in bribes and storing them in various banks in Kuwait and Dubai on behalf of her husband.