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A retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army who served in Iraq as a contracting officer was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on October 15, 2013 for criminal conflict of interest, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. HAROLD L. BROEK, 49, served as Chief of Contracting at the Tikrit Regional Contracting Center in Tikrit, Iraq, and admitted in his plea agreement that he used his position of authority to benefit himself to the detriment of the United States. BROEK established a company, Global Motion, that received contracts from an Iraqi company to which he had awarded contracts. U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle sentenced BROEK to three years of probation, with 60 days of home detention, 40 hours of community service and $52,400 in restitution. BROEK pleaded guilty July 23, 2013.
According to the records filed in the case, BROEK used his position of authority in the U.S. Army, his knowledge of government contracting, and his relationship with Rohit Goel and “Avalon International Limited” to contract with Goel and Avalon on government contracts. Before BROEK left Iraq in 2007, he directed his family in Washington State to form a company, Global Motion, for the purpose of receiving contracts from Goel and Avalon. While in Iraq, BROEK had entered into an illegal agreement with Goel whereby Goel would send certain government contracts, awarded by the United States to Goel and Avalon, to the new company formed by BROEK and his family. Pursuant to this arrangement, Goel agreed to award government contracts to BROEK’s new company, to pay BROEK’s new company 30% of the profit on such contracts, and to front necessary funds or finance any contract expenditures BROEK’s company would incur in purchasing goods to perform under the contracts.
Before leaving Iraq and returning to the United States, BROEK participated in awarding contracts to Avalon. Specifically, in July 2007, shortly before he left Iraq to return to Lacey, Washington, BROEK signed a waiver shortening the deadline on a contract for the purchase and delivery of line-of-sight radios. By shortening the deadline, BROEK decreased the chances that Avalon’s competitors might win the contract. Later in July 2007, one of BROEK’s subordinates in Iraq awarded a contract for line-of-sight radios, valued at $162,151, to Goel and Avalon. Goel, in turn, awarded the contract for line-of-sight radios to BROEK’s company, Global Motion.
In September 2007, Avalon fronted $99,978 to Global Motion to finance the purchase of the line-of-sight radios. To fill the line-of-sight radio contract, Global Motion spent $58,733 to purchase the radios and have them shipped to Iraq. Global Motion retained the balance of the funds from Avalon, making a profit of $29,871.90 on this deal.
According to tax returns, Global Motion made a profit in 2007 and 2008 of $52,400.16. Pursuant to the plea agreement, BROEK will make restitution payments to the United States in the amount of $52,400.16.
In sentencing documents, the United States argued that “it was clear that LTC Broek used his position and authority to enter into a business relationship with Avalon. Only LTC Broek had the contact with, experience with, and relationship with Rohit Goel to start or suggest a new business relationship. We also know that LTC Broek participated personally and substantially in his capacity as an Army Officer in at least one contract ultimately awarded to his family’s company, Global Motion. The many other contracts directed to Global Motion by Avalon, though awarded and directed after Broek left Iraq, also stink of fraud, corruption, and conflict. One has to ask why, and under what circumstances, a foreign contractor like Avalon would contract with Global Motion, a newly-formed company that had zero experience in contracting? In fact, the only reason Avalon contracted with Global Motion was because of LTC Broek.”
The case was investigated by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Reese Jennings and Marc Perez.