Former Co-Owner of Contracting Company Pleads Guilty to Defrauding U.S. Government
WASHINGTON – A former co-owner of a U.S. civilian contractor company pleaded guilty today to falsifying official documents in connection with Iraq reconstruction government contracts, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman for the Western District of Texas.
Jill Ann Charpia, 33, formerly of San Antonio and currently of Colorado, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry J. Bemporad in San Antonio to a criminal information charging her with one-count of false statements to a government agency.
According to court documents, from 2008 through 2009, Charpia was the co-owner of Sourcing Specialist LLC, a privately owned company that contracted with the United States government to provide services in Iraq. In September 2008, she contracted to provide a turn-key housing facility located outside Iraq’s International Zone to facilitate the introduction of multi-national firms desiring to develop business opportunities in Iraq. That same month, Charpia signed and submitted to the Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Contracting Command Iraq/Afghanistan, for payment through the contract, a false invoice in the amount of $1,270,075.40 purportedly for mobilization costs. She followed up with two invoices, one representing that she had paid $700,000 for the rental of two villas in Baghdad, and the other representing that she had paid $570,075.50 on the purchase of three armored vehicles from an Iraqi company. In October 2008, as a result of her false and fraudulent statements, DOD caused $1,270,075.50 to be wired to Charpia’s bank account. Charpia admitted that she fabricated both invoices and forged the signatures on the documents. She also admitted that she did not purchase any armored vehicles and paid only half the submitted cost for the villas.
At sentencing, scheduled for Nov. 15, 2012, Charpia faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain or loss, and up to three years of supervised release. As part of her plea agreement, Charpia agreed to pay $920,000 plus interest in restitution to the United States.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Trial Attorney Mark Grider of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, on detail from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), and by Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith A. Patton of the Western District of Texas. The case is being investigated by SIGIR, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Major Procurement Fraud Unit of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.