Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Let A Hundred Thousand Dollars Bloom

The New York Times reports on a domestic Chalabi. One of many:

In what is expected to be the first of a series of criminal charges against officials and contractors overseeing the rebuilding of Iraq, an American has been charged with paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to American occupation authorities and their spouses to obtain construction contracts, according to a complaint unsealed late yesterday.

The man, Philip H. Bloom, who controlled three companies that did work in Iraq in the multibillion-dollar reconstruction effort, was charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money and interstate transportation of stolen property, all in connection with obtaining up to $3.5 million in reportedly fraudulent contracts.

The complaint, unsealed in the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia, also cites two unnamed co-conspirators who worked in the Coalition Provisional Authority, the American administration that governed Iraq when the contracts were awarded in early 2004. These were the officials who, with their spouses, allegedly received the payments.

"This is the first case, but it won't be the last," said Jim Mitchell, a spokesman for the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office. Mr. Mitchell said as many as a dozen related cases had been referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution.

Ah, the spoils of a Republican war.

$3.5 million ... you don't suppose?

The complaint says that in order to obtain lucrative reconstruction contracts, Mr. Bloom paid at least $200,000 a month to an unspecified number of coalition authority officials, including the two co-conspirators and their spouses.

If it's good enough for the Dukester, it's good enough for Bloom.

The description sounds a lot like this guy:

Bloom's instinct for business is running as strong as ever, and in 2003 GBG's considerable experience and talent were brought to bear in the Middle East, bringing the company to its current incarnation of GBG Logistics SRL, Bloom and his staff, a compact distillation of talent and energy which surpasses companies many times their size, are at the center of the Iraq Reconstruction effort, providing the utmost performance in brokering, contracting, creating and developing projects for the cream of the crop. Clients include direct contracts with the US Government and several of its Prime Contractors, the Coalitional Provisional Authority and subsequent Iraqi provisional government, and innumerable domestic vendors and service organizations throughout Iraq, Turkey, and other Middle East regions.

Of course, I can't say whether it's the same guy. We shall see.

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