U.S. Army Major Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements Related to Shipment of Currency from Iraq to the United States
WASHINGTON - U.S. Army Major Charles E. Sublett, 46, of Huntsville, Ala., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Memphis, Tenn. , to making false statements to a federal agency, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.
Sublett was charged in an indictment, returned by a federal grand jury on Jan. 5, 2010, following his arrest in Huntsville. According to the indictment, Sublett smuggled more than $100,000 in currency, concealed in a shipping package, into the United States from Iraq in January 2005.
According to the indictment, Sublett was deployed to Balad Regional Contracting Center on Logistical Support Area (LSA) Anaconda in Iraq from August 2004 through February 2005. LSA Anaconda is a U.S. military installation that was established in 2003 to support U.S. military operations in Iraq. According to the indictment, Sublett served as a contracting officer while deployed to LSA Anaconda. As a contracting officer, Sublett was responsible for, among other things, evaluating and supervising contracts with companies that provide goods and services to the U.S. Army.
Sublett admitted that, on Jan. 11, 2005, he sent a package from Balad, Iraq, to Killeen, Texas, which was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Memphis. Sublett admitted that, on the international air waybill, he falsely described the contents of the package as books, papers, a jewelry box and clothes with a total declared customs value of $140 when, in fact, Sublett knew the package contained $107,900 in U.S. currency and 17,120,000 in Iraqi dinar. Sublett also admitted that he failed to file a currency or monetary instruments transaction report (CMIR) as required by federal law when transporting currency in amounts of more than $10,000 into or out of the United States. During the plea hearing, Sublett admitted to making false claims to investigators regarding his attempt to bring the currency into the United States in an effort to impede their investigation.
The maximum penalty for making false statements to a government agency is five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, to be followed by a term of up to three years of supervised release. Sublett is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 8, 2010. As part of the plea agreement, Sublett also consented to the forfeiture of the $107,900 and the 17,120,000 Iraqi dinar that he concealed in the package.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Daniel A. Petalas and Justin V. Shur of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. This case is being investigated by Army Criminal Investigation Command; Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the FBI; Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.