Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Iceberg Tips

This one is no surprise. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this guy was a small timer:

An Army major has been arrested on charges that he took $9.6 million in kickbacks and anticipated receiving $5.4 million more for rigging military supply contracts.

Federal authorities arrested Maj. John Cockerham, a contracting and procurement officer, and his wife, Melissa, on Monday as they returned from Louisiana to Fort Sam Houston.

The two are charged with accepting bribes, defrauding the United States, money laundering and conspiracy.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Pamela Mathy ordered them held without bail pending a bond hearing scheduled for Wednesday. The couple asked for court-appointed lawyers, which Mathy granted.

John Cockerham, 41, is assigned to a division within U.S. Army South, which is headquartered at Fort Sam Houston. Melissa Cockerham, 40, is accused of accepting bribe payments for her husband and helping conceal them, according to criminal complaint affidavits unsealed Monday.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Sierra confirmed the arrests but declined to comment beyond the affidavits.

The case broke open in December, when agents seized a ledger at the couple's home on Fort Sam Houston, the affidavits said.

Investigators with the Army's Criminal Investigations Division and the Defense Department's Criminal Investigative Service, as well as the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies, are examining all contracts handled by John Cockerham. They're trying to determine the companies he allegedly took bribes from, according to court records.

According to the affidavits, the bribe payments included hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash delivered to Melissa Cockerham and others in bags and briefcases. Investigators say many of the payments occurred in 2005, and the money was deposited in banks in the Middle East and then moved to banks in the Caribbean.

"In total, the ledger records that J. Cockerham received $9.6 million in bribe payments from at least eight contractors and anticipated receiving $5.4 million more," the affidavits said.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070724/ap_on_re_us/army_bribery_probe&printer=1;_ylt=AmAbHqoqk0BkQUkSnnl1LzZH2ocA

On the heels of this guy:

Standing bolt upright in federal court in Austin on Monday, his cleanly shaved head shining above a charcoal gray suit, retired Army Maj. John Allen Rivard pleaded guilty to bribery and other charges for receiving kickbacks on contracts he administered while serving in Iraq.


In all, court documents say, Rivard received $238,000 in cash bribes during an 11-month deployment as a top contracting official at Camp Anaconda, near Balad in northern Iraq.


The administration of Defense Department contracts has been a key contributor
to fraud, waste and abuse in the Iraq war effort, Comptroller General David Walker testified to a congressional subcommittee in April.

Walker said that though the United States "relies heavily" on contractors in Iraq, the Defense Department cannot quantify the use of contractors or explain how much they are needed to sustain military operations.

Walker also said military commanders do not receive sufficient training in how to effectively manage contracts and contractors in Iraq.

It is unclear what training Rivard received before he was named acting chief of contracting at Camp Anaconda.

Before being activated for deployment in Iraq, Rivard worked painting
ornamental iron fencing in Georgetown, according to his roommate at the time, Pete Walkerhttp://statesman.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=Former+Army+officer+admits+accepting+kickbacks&expire=&urlID=23164719&fb=Y&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.statesman.com%2Fnews%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fstories%2Flocal%2F07%2F24%2F0724rivard.html&partnerID=525

I'm willing to bet that a lot more corruption cases will be coming out over time. Any takers?


Anonymous said...

Oh, you know, it's just money. It's always there for war, never there for education, housing, healthcare, food, safety, infastructure....

Great post!

Demeur said...

Love the photo and you are right. Looks like Duke (I'll take your greenbacks for favors) Cunningham is singing to the FBI. Just wonder who's next.

Checked out your web site dcup pretty good stuff. You definitely have a mammory obsession there.