For Immediate Release
February 16, 2007
FBI National Press Office
CONTRACTOR SENTENCED IN CASE INVOLVING BRIBERY, FRAUD AND
MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME IN AL-HILLAH, IRAQ
- A U.S. contractor was sentenced to 46 months in prison
and ordered to forfeit $3.6 million for his role in a bribery
and fraud scheme involving contracts in the reconstruction
of Iraq, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the
Criminal Division announced today.
Bloom, 67, of Bucharest, Romania, was sentenced today in
U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia by the Honorable
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. Bloom was also sentenced to two
years of supervised release.
was arrested at Newark International Airport on Nov. 13,
2005, and pleaded guilty on March 10, 2006, to bribery,
money laundering, and conspiracy in connection with a scheme
to defraud the Coalition Provisional AuthoritySouth
Central Region (CPA-SC) in al-Hillah, Iraq.
Bloom will now spend 46 months in jail for bribing public
officials with cars, computers and jewelry, and laundering
money in exchange for more than $8.6 million in contracts
during the rebuilding of Iraq," said Assistant Attorney
General Fisher. "The Department of Justice is committed
to finding and convicting those who squander resources meant
for the reconstruction of a nation through theft, fraud
admitted to participating in a complex bribery, fraud and
money laundering scheme while seeking contracts for his
company, Global Business Group, during the early days of
the war in Iraq. From December 2003 through December 2005,
Robert Stein, a DOD contract employee and the Comptroller
for the CPA-SC; Bruce D. Hopfengardner, a lieutenant colonel
in the U.S. Army Reserves; and numerous public officials,
including several high-ranking U.S. Army officers, conspired
to rig the bids on contracts being awarded by the CPA-SC
so that all of the contracts were awarded to Bloom. In return,
Bloom provided the public officials with over $1 million
in cash, SUVs, sports cars, a motorcycle, jewelry, computers,
business class airline tickets, liquor, future employment
with Bloom, and other items of value.
addition, Bloom laundered over $2 million in currency that
Stein and his co-conspirators stole from the CPA-SC that
had been slated to be used for the reconstruction of Iraq.
Bloom then used his foreign bank accounts in Iraq, Romania
and Switzerland to send the stolen money to Stein, Hopfengardner,
and other public officials in return for the awarded contracts.
In total, Bloom received over $8.6 million in rigged contracts.
the course of the conspiracy, Stein and other co-conspirators
stole U.S. currency and funneled those funds to Bloom in
order to purchase illegal controlled weapons-including assault
rifles, silencers, and grenade launcherswhich they
converted to their own personal use in the United States.
has cooperated with the government's ongoing investigation.
Feb. 1, 2007, Colonel Curtis Whiteford, Lt. Cols. Debra
Harrison and Michael Wheeler, and civilians Michael Morris
and William Driver were charged in a 25-count indictment
for related charges including conspiracy, bribery, money
laundering and others in connection with this scheme.
Jan. 29, 2007, co-conspirator Robert Stein was sentenced
to nine years in prison for related charges of conspiracy,
bribery and money laundering, as well as weapons possession
charges, for his role in the same scheme.
Aug. 25, 2006, co-conspirator Hopfengardner pleaded guilty
to related charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and
money laundering in connection with the same scheme as Bloom
and Stein. Hopfengardner is scheduled for a status conference
on March 23, 2007.
cases are being prosecuted by trial attorneys James A. Crowell
IV and Ann C. Brickley of the Public Integrity Section,
headed by Acting Section Chief Edward C. Nucci, and trial
attorney Patrick Murphy of the Asset Forfeiture and Money
Laundering Section, headed by Section Chief Richard Weber,
all of the Criminal Division. These cases are being investigated
by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction,
IRS Criminal Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security (ICE),
Army Criminal Investigations Division, the U.S. Department
of State Office of Inspector General, and the FBI's Washington
Field Office in support of the Justice Department's National
Procurement Fraud Task Force and the International Contract
Corruption Initiative. The investigation has received substantial
assistance from the ICE Cybercrimes Division.
The National Procurement Fraud Initiative was announced
by Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty in October 2006,
and is designed to promote the early detection, identification,
prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated
with the increase in contracting activity for national security
and other government programs. As part of this initiative,
the Deputy Attorney General has created the National Procurement
Fraud Task Force, which is chaired by Assistant Attorney
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