News and Press Releases

Contracting Officer Allegedly Took Thousands in Bribes for Steering Work in Iraq

November 16, 2007

CEDAR LANMON, 30, of Tacoma, Washington was charged today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma with Conspiracy to Accept a Bribe, Import Antiquities, and to Launder Bribery Proceeds. LANMON is a Captain in the Army who has completed two tours of duty in Iraq. According to the complaint, while he was deployed LANMON accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from contractors in Iraq to steer Army contracts to them. These contracts were for such things as heavy construction work at military facilities in Iraq. Additionally, LANMON illegally brought an artifact back to the United States from Iraq. The artifact appears to be a piece of ancient pottery from the city of Ur, from an archeological dig at a site believed to be the home of the biblical figure Abraham.

LANMON will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma this afternoon at 3:00, in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Kelley Arnold. The charges contained in a complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

According to the complaint, LANMON accepted bribes from three different individuals while deployed to Iraq. LANMON accepted money from two Iraqi citizens and an Albanian contractor in exchange for awarding them government contracts. The complaint alleges that LANMON took $25,000 from the Albanian contractor in exchange for a $250,000 contract to build berms at a military base in Ballad, Iraq. LANMON allegedly accepted $5,000 from an Iraqi man in exchange for getting on the base and introducing him to a contracting officer. Finally, LANMON allegedly accepted $1,000 from an Iraqi in exchange for the contract to build a tin roof on a military facility. LANMON allegedly wired some of the illegally obtained funds home to his wife, or transported the cash back to the United States. LANMON also purchased high value rugs and furniture in Iraq and brought them to his home in Tacoma, planning to sell them for profit in the U.S.

"As we continue the War on Terrorism let it be known that the U.S. Army will not tolerate fraud or any other criminal activity at any level. We will investigate allegations swiftly and thoroughly and will get to the truth however long it takes," said Brigadier General Rodney Johnson, the commanding general of the U.S. Criminal Investigation Command.

The full extent of the contracting fraud remains under investigation. The case is being pursued by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the FBI and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Reese Jennings.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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