Former Business Partner of U.S. Military Contractor Pleads Guilty to Bribery Scheme Related to Contracts in Support of Iraq War
A former business partner of a U.S. military contractor pleaded guilty today to one count of bribery for his role in a years-long scheme to bribe U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at a U.S. military base in Kuwait, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
According to the plea filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Finbar Charles, 62, a citizen of Saint Lucia most recently residing in Baguio City, Philippines, was a business partner of a former U.S. military contractor, Terry Hall. As Hall’s business partner, Charles facilitated Hall and others in providing millions of dollars in bribes in approximately 2005 to 2007 to various U.S. Army officials in exchange for preferential treatment for Hall’s companies in connection with Department of Defense (DOD) contracts to deliver bottled water and construct security fencing to support U.S. troops stationed in Kuwait and Iraq.
As part of his role in this criminal conspiracy, Charles managed bank accounts in Kuwait and the Philippines that he used to receive DOD payments and transfer illegal bribes to various U.S. Army contracting officials, including Majors Eddie Pressley, John Cockerham, James Momon, and Chris Murray. All of those individuals, as well as at least 10 other coconspirators, have pleaded guilty or been convicted of crimes relating to this scheme. Charles admitted that he personally received over $228,000 in illicit gains as a result of his participation.
The sentencing is set for Nov. 26.
This case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, the FBI, and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter N. Halpern and Robert J. Heberle of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.