Army Soldier Pleads Guilty in Kentucky to Bribery Charges for Facilitating Thefts of Fuel in Afghanistan
U.S. Army Sergeant Kevin Bilal Abdullah pleaded guilty today to bribery charges for his role in the theft of fuel at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Fenty, near Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky David J. Hale.
Abdullah, 30, of Fort Campbell, Ky., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell in the Western District of Kentucky to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one substantive count of bribery.
According to court documents, in approximately May and June 2010, Abdullah was involved in overseeing the delivery of fuel from FOB Fenty to other military bases. As part of this process, documents generally described as “transportation movement requests” (TMRs or mission sheets) were created to authorize the movement of fuel.
According to court documents, Abdullah created fraudulent TMRs that purported to authorize the transport of fuel from FOB Fenty to other military bases, even though no legitimate fuel transportation was required. After the trucks were filled with fuel, the fraudulent TMRs were used by the drivers of the fuel trucks at FOB Fenty’s departure checkpoint in order to justify the trucks’ departures from FOB Fenty. In truth, the fuel was simply stolen.
Abdullah pleaded guilty to receiving payments from a representative of the trucking company in exchange for facilitating the theft of approximately 25 truckloads of fuel. According to court documents, the loss to the United States as a result of the theft was in excess of $400,000.
Abdullah’s plea is the third guilty plea arising from this investigation of fuel thefts at FOB Fenty. On Aug. 3, 2012, Jonathan Hightower, a civilian employee of a military contractor who had conspired with Abdullah, pleaded guilty to similar charges. On Oct. 10, 2012, Christopher Weaver also pleaded guilty to fuel theft charges. A fourth individual, Stephanie Charboneau, was indicted April 9, 2013, and is pending trial on fuel theft-related charges.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Mark H. Dubester of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky. This case was investigated by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction; Department of the Army, Criminal Investigations Division; Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and FBI.