WASHINGTON – The former chief of party in Baghdad for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Robert Nathan Boorda, pleaded guilty to an information unsealed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for conspiring to enrich himself by having USIP award a security contract at a fraudulently inflated price in exchange for a purported monthly consulting fee of $20,000 paid by the contractor, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Boorda was charged by information on Sept. 19, 2011, with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, and he pleaded guilty to the charge on Oct. 7, 2011. According to plea documents, Boorda admitted that, from about April 2009 through about June 2009, he and the owner of a security services contracting firm conspired to enrich themselves through Boorda’s recommendation that USIP award a $1.165 million contract for the lease of a villa in Baghdad and security services to that security services company at a fraudulently inflated price, in exchange for Boorda’s receipt of a purported consulting and marketing agreement with the company for a monthly fee of $20,000 for the term of the USIP contract. Boorda admitted that he concealed this agreement from USIP. According to plea documents, the contract was inflated so that Boorda could receive his payment by representing to USIP headquarters that the villa owner would not agree to a monthly rental payment of less than $22,000, when in fact the owner had agreed to $13,000.
The case was investigated by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and the Inspector General for the Department of State. It is being prosecuted by Fraud Section Special Trial Attorney Catherine Votaw of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, on detail from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.