Husband and wife owner-operators of a Houston-based security firm pleaded guilty today to defrauding the United States through a subcontract to provide security for Afghanistan rebuilding efforts, according to DoJ. Delmar Dwayne Spier and Barbara Edens Spier admitted “fabricat[ing] invoices from fictitious companies to obtain reimbursement” from the federal government for inflated expenses for rental vehicles, fuel, and personnel through a primary contract worth $210 million between the Louis Berger Group Inc. and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Spiers’ company, United States Protection and Investigations, LLC, was hired to provide security for the USAID contract as part of the Rehabilitation of Economic Facilities Program, which was meant to build electrical facilities, health facilities, schools, and irrigation systems in war-torn Afghanistan. Instead, the Spiers conspired to fraudulently divert those funds to line their own pockets. The Spiers will forfeit $3 million and, upon sentencing, face up to 35 years in prison and as much as $1.5 million in criminal fines.
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