WASHINGTON – Tijani Ahmed Saani, a former civilian employee of the U.S. Department of Defense, pleaded guilty today to filing false tax returns for tax years 2003 through 2007, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and Assistant Attorney General Christine A. Varney of the Antitrust Division.
Saani, 53, a former resident of Kuwait City, Kuwait, worked as a contracting officer in Kuwait from 1994 until his arrest in May 2008. According to the indictment to which Saani pleaded guilty, he worked on detail from 2002 to 2007 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Saani pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before Judge Richard J. Leon to a five-count indictment, admitting he filed false tax returns for tax years 2003 through 2007. He also admitted that during that period of time he maintained overseas bank accounts in the United States and the Jersey Channel Islands that he failed to properly report on his income tax returns.
The indictment, filed Sept. 19, 2008, charged that the tax returns Saani filed were false because he failed to disclose his interest in or authority over multiple foreign bank accounts, failed to report interest earned from those bank accounts, and failed to report other additional income on his tax returns for tax years 2003 through 2007.
Saani faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $100,000 for each of the five charged counts to which he pleaded guilty. His sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 8, 2009.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Kathryn H. Albrecht, Richard B. Evans and Ann C. Brickley of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, which is headed by Chief William M. Welch II, as well as Trial Attorneys Mark W. Pletcher, Emily W. Allen and Ryan Danks of the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section, which is headed by Chief Lisa Phelan. Assistance was also provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.
The case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Army Criminal Investigation Division, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, FBI and the Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction.
Today’s guilty plea resulted from the Department’s ongoing investigation into procurement fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department's National Procurement Fraud Initiative, announced in October 2006, is designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in contracting activity for national security and other government programs.
Anyone with information concerning bid rigging, bribery or other criminal conduct regarding DOD contracts is urged to call the Defense Criminal Investigative Service at 800-424-9098 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Army Criminal Investigation Division at www.cid.army.mil; or the FBI at 800-225-5324.