Former Army Official Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Accepting Illegal Gratuities from Contractors in Iraq
WASHINGTON – A former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for accepting illegal gratuities from multiple Iraqi contractors and for stealing from Iraqi fuel reserves, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
David Charles Pfluger, 56, of Abilene, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings in the Western District of Texas. Judge Cummings also sentenced Pfluger to three years of supervised release and ordered the defendant to pay $24,000 in restitution. Pfluger pleaded guilty to a four count indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy, two counts of accepting gratuities, and one count of conversion of third party property by a U.S. official.
According to court documents, Pfluger was deployed to Forward Operating Base Ridgway in Iraq, and assigned the role of “Mayor” of the base. As the “Mayor,” he was the officer in charge of the physical facilities of the base and had extensive contact with the various local contractors doing work on the base. While serving in this role, Pfluger agreed with a U.S. Army translator and various local contractors to accept gratuities in the form of cash, jewelry and clothing from various contractors. The gratuities were paid in return for official acts Pfluger performed which benefitted the contractors, including encouraging contracts for those contractors, relaxing security procedures for them and providing them fuel from Iraqi fuel reserves which he had no authority to access. Pfluger received the money, jewelry and clothing in Iraq and sent it home through U.S. mail, often hiding the money inside books and letters. In total, Pfluger admitted to receiving approximately $11,500 in cash from this scheme, plus an unknown amount of clothing and jewelry.
This case was prosecuted by Special Trial Attorney Christopher L. Peele of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, on detail from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The case was being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigations Division, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI.