Bribery and Corruption Plague Camp Arifjan in Kuwait

Wednesday, DoJ announced the guilty plea of former DoD contract employee, Wajdi Birjas, for regularly bribing DoD officials.  According to court documents:

Birjas, acting at the direction of a contractor working in Kuwait, developed corrupt relationships with certain Army contracting officials, including Christopher Murray, James Momon and a sergeant first class deployed to Camp Arifjan as a senior procurement non-commissioned officer (NCO.) By bribing these Army contracting officials in 2005 and 2006, the contractor ultimately received a total of more than $1.7 million in connection with contracts to provide various goods and services to the U.S. military. In exchange for his assistance in the bribery scheme, Birjas received a share of the profits that the contracts generated and was allowed to live rent-free in a villa that contained a hidden safe.

“This case highlights the compelling need for comprehensive oversight of contractors and subcontractors working in war zones,” said Stuart W. Bowen, Jr., the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. “SIGIR remains committed to holding accountable those who chose to engage in criminal activity involving U.S. funds allocated for Iraq’s reconstruction.”  The conviction of Birjas is apparently just a small victory in a fight against a pandemic of corruption at the Kuwati-based $20 million U.S. national security outpost. According to DoJ, a dozen U.S. military personnel and independent contractors have already pled guilty to the fraud involving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. FraudBlawg previously has reported many bribery cases in Kuwait.

To report defense contracting fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.