Former Military Contractor Convicted of Participating in Scheme to Steal Large Quantities of Fuel from U.S. Army in Afghanistan
Raschad L. "Sean" Lewis, a former fuel section employee of Kellogg Brown and Root Inc. (KBR), assigned to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, was found guilty yesterday by a federal jury of conspiracy, false writing, bribery of a public official, and false claims stemming from a bribery and a fuel diversion scheme.
According to court documents, KBR had a contract to provide support services to the U.S. Army at Bagram Airfield, including unloading truckloads of jet fuel delivered by drivers hired by Red Star Enterprises Limited. Evidence at trial proved that between May and September 2006, Lewis and other KBR employees conspired to accept payments from drivers, who in fact were selling their fuel to parties outside the airfield, in return for providing the drivers with documents to deliver to Red Star falsely showing that the truckloads of fuel had been delivered to the airfield. According to evidence presented in court, more than 48 truckloads of fuel were diverted for sale outside the airfield between May and September 2006, valued at more than $800,000.
Lewis is facing a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 21, 2009. Previously, former KBR employee Wallace A. Ward pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Jan. 25, 2008, and was sentenced on April 11, 2008, to 26 months in prison. Another former KBR employee, James N. Sellman, pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Feb. 7, 2008, and was sentenced on May 9, 2008, to 26 months in prison.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Hanly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Virginia and Trial Attorney James Graham of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division in Virginia and Afghanistan, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service in Virginia. The Defense Energy Support Center’s Office of the General Counsel in Fort Belvoir, Va., also provided assistance.
In October 2006, the National Procurement Fraud Task Force was formed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The National Procurement Fraud Task Force, chaired by Assistant Attorney General Breuer, includes the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community and a number of other federal law enforcement agencies. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrates the Department of Justice’s commitment to helping ensure the integrity of the government procurement process.