WASHINGTON – Robert Young, 57, a former captain in the U.S. Army, was sentenced today to 97 months in prison for his participation in a scheme to steal approximately 10 million gallons of fuel from the U.S. Army in Iraq, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride.
Young, a U.S. citizen who resided in the Philippines until his arrest in connection with this case, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Claude M. Hilton in the Eastern District of Virginia. Judge Hilton also sentenced Young to three years of supervised release to follow his prison term, and ordered him to pay $26,276,427 in restitution. Young was also ordered to forfeit $1 million in personal profits he made from the scheme.
Young pleaded guilty on July 24, 2009, to both counts of a two-count superseding indictment charging him and Robert Jeffery with conspiracy and theft of government property.
In his plea, Young admitted that in October 2007, while serving as a contractor in Iraq, he and other co-conspirators agreed to participate in a scheme to steal fuel from the U.S. Army. Between October 2007 and May 2008, he and his co-conspirators, purportedly representing Department of Defense contractors in Iraq, used fraudulently obtained documents to enter the Victory Bulk Fuel Point (VBFP) in Camp Liberty, Iraq, and presented false fuel authorization forms to steal aviation and diesel fuel from the VBFP for subsequent sale on the black market. The United States owns and operates the VBFP in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The VBFP supplies fuel to both military units and U.S. Government contractors operating in and around the Victory Base Complex. To retrieve and transport the stolen fuel from the VBFP, Young admitted that he and his co-conspirators employed several individuals to serve as drivers and escorts of the trucks containing the stolen fuel. During Young’s participation in the scheme, he received approximately $1 million in personal profits.
In related cases, Robert Jeffery was convicted on Aug. 11, 2009, after a two-day jury trial, of one count of conspiracy and one count of theft of government property for his role in the fuel theft. The evidence at trial showed that Jeffery served as an escort for the fuel trucks and retrieved hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel from the VBFP. Sentencing for Jeffery is scheduled for Dec. 11, 2009.
Lee William Dubois pleaded guilty on Oct. 7, 2008, to participating in the same scheme. In his plea, Dubois admitted that he obtained government-issued common access cards for the drivers and escorts of the trucks and also presented false documents to the VBFP authorizing his co-conspirators to draw fuel. Dubois admitted that he received at least $450,000 in personal profits from the scheme. On Aug. 25, 2009, Dubois was sentenced to three years in prison.
Michel Jamil pleaded guilty on July 27, 2009, in connection with his role in the theft scheme. Jamil admitted that in March 2007, he and two of his co-conspirators arranged for the creation of a false fuel authorization form authorizing individuals to draw fuel from the VBFP. Jamil also admitted to serving as an escort for the fuel trucks to retrieve the fuel from the VBFP. Jamil admitted he received between $75,000 and $87,500 in personal profits from the scheme. Jamil’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2010.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Linick, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Andrew Gentin and Brigham Cannon. The investigation of this case was conducted by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the FBI and members of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force and the International Contract Corruption Task Force (ICCTF).
The National Procurement Fraud Task Force, created in October 2006 by the Department of Justice, was designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The ICCTF is a joint law enforcement agency task force that seeks to detect, investigate and dismantle corruption and contract fraud resulting from U.S. Overseas Contingency Operations, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.