Iraq Extradites Fugitive Defense Contractor to U.S. to Face Fraud Charges
A Las Vegas-based former Department of Defense contractor has been extradited from Iraq to the United States to face fraud and conspiracy charges for attempting to bribe U.S. officials in order to secure government contracts for his companies. Metin Atilan, 54, is the first person extradited from Iraq to the United States pursuant to the U.S.-Iraq extradition treaty signed on June 7, 1934 and entered into force in 1936.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart of the Southern District of Ohio, Special Agent in Charge Kevin Cornelius of the FBI’s Cincinnati Office and Resident Agent in Charge Bret Flinn of the Defense Criminal Investigation Service (DCIS) made the announcement.
“This historic extradition from Iraq to the United States is an example of our cooperation with law enforcement worldwide to bring fugitives to justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “Atilan’s return to the United States, after more than six years on the run, sends a clear message to fugitives: no matter where in the world you try to hide, we will find you, and we will prosecute you.”
“ This case is a tremendous example of a successfully organized and cooperative law enforcement effort put forth by the FBI, DCIS, Interpol and the Iraqi government,” said Special Agent in Charge Cornelius. “I commend the work of the FBI’s Legal Attaché Office and the U.S. Embassy Country Team in Iraq. They have garnered a superior level of law enforcement cooperation between the FBI and Iraqi officials. Without their support, this extradition would not have been possible.”
Atilan, a dual U.S. and Turkish citizen, is scheduled to appear today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz of the Southern District of Ohio.
Atilan was charged by indictment on June 10, 2008, with conspiracy to engage in contract fraud, conspiracy to engage in wire fraud, and wire fraud. According to court documents, Atilan is p resident and chief executive officer of PMA Services Ltd. of Las Vegas and Kayteks Ltd. of Adna, Turkey. In 2006 through 2008, Atilan offered bribes and kickbacks in order to secure contracts for businesses he owned in connection with services and construction associated with U.S. military operations in Iraq. Some of the Defense Department contracting officials who Atilan is accused of trying to bribe were stationed in Dayton at the time.
Atilan was first arrested in Las Vegas on May 23, 2008. Atilan was placed on electronic monitoring pending his formal hearing before a federal judge in Dayton, Ohio. On June 15, 2008, Atilan allegedly violated the terms of his pretrial release by cutting off his electronic bracelet and fleeing the country. The government sought his extradition, and Atilan arrived in Dayton, Ohio on July 27, 2014.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the FBI and DCIS. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwight Keller of the Southern District of Ohio with assistance from Trial Attorney Dan E. Stigall of the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and Department of Justice Attaché Ellen Endrizzi. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance.