Army Major and his family arrested for accepting bribes for Iraq contracts - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Post Army Major and his family arrested for accepting bribes for Iraq contracts

Benzworld members,

This story was featured in the Army Times and it was written by Michelle Roberts of The Associated Press.

I have posted the story below and the link as a reference as well as other links about this incident.

1. Major, wife denied bond in bribe case - Military News, Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times

2. Third Suspect Arrested in DOD Bribery Cases in Iraq and Kuwait

3. Army major in court over $9m bribery claim | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

4. Major, Wife Denied Bond - Local News Story - KSAT San Antonio

Respectfully,

James Van Thach

===

Major, wife denied bond in bribe case


SAN ANTONIO — An Army major and his wife accused of accepting at least $11.7 million in bribes for U.S. government contracts for Iraq reconstruction were ordered held without bond Tuesday.

Magistrate Judge Pamela Mathy of U.S. District Court in San Antonio ordered Maj. John Cockerham and his wife, Melissa Cockerham, held without bond because of millions of dollars in cash allegedly stored offshore and accusations they attempted to cover their tracks, even as they cooperated with investigative authorities this year.

“The allegations in this case are extraordinary, I believe,” Mathy said as the couple sat side-by-side in navy blue federal detention-issued clothing. “It seems like a small step to flee this country.”

The Cockerhams were arrested at their home on Fort Sam Houston on July 22, accused of bribery, money laundering and conspiracy stemming from John Cockerham’s work as a contracting officer in Kuwait in 2004 and 2005.

John Cockerham’s sister, Carolyn Blake, was also arrested in Dallas but was released on bond by the federal court there Monday.

Prosecutors accuse the Cockerhams and Blake of accepting stacks of U.S. and foreign currency from contractors seeking Department of Defense work in Kuwait and Iraq under contracts controlled by John Cockerham. The money — $11.7 million accepted by the Cockerhams and $2.7 million accepted by Blake — was allegedly put in offshore accounts and safety deposit boxes, as well as laundered through real estate transactions.

Agents first searched the Cockerhams’ home in December, turning up ledgers and other evidence they said demonstrated the conspiracy.

In an interview at the time, John Cockerham admitted to accepting in excess of $1 million and that he knew it was wrong, said Ray Rayos, a special agent of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division, in testimony Tuesday. Melissa Cockerham also admitted traveling to Kuwait and Dubai to accept money arranged by her husband, he said.

Following the initial search, John Cockerham voluntarily gave numerous interviews and cooperated with investigators, said his attorney Jimmy Parks Jr. He also noted that the couple, who have a 2-year-old and twin 6-year-olds, were not making any plans to flee the country.

But Agent Richard Humphreys of the Office for the Special Inspector for Iraq Reconstruction said documents seized after the Cockerhams’ arrest indicate they were coaching possible witnesses to tell cover stories, looking for ways to hide the money and attempting to launder it.

Humphreys said they coached contractors to say the money was a loan for a business, a consulting fee payment or related to a Texas church donation — an explanation similar to one Blake offered for a handwritten ledger found at her house.

In at least one note, the Cockerhams suggested that bank paperwork and safety deposit keys be hidden in a co-conspirator’s “bosom,” he testified Tuesday.

“Someone with commonsense could look at those documents and assume these defendants drafted these documents,” he said.

Parks said the couple would likely be indicted in the next several weeks, but the case is not as straightforward as prosecutors are presenting. He noted that DOD contracts have multiple checks and balances requiring officers and lawyers above John Cockerham’s rank to check and approve contracts.

“There are plenty of checks and balances on these things, and these checks and balances apply to someone as low as John Cockerham and as high as the major corporations that have government contracts,” he said after Tuesday’s hearing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg United States Army Major John L. Cockerham.jpg (14.8 KB, 224 views)
File Type: jpg United States Army Major John L. Cockerham photo 2.jpg (9.9 KB, 105 views)

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"That currently peace can only be accomplished with an honest broker not with Terroristic attacks. For our nation young people need to become more involved in our governmental process because they need direction in their life and the U.S. Army is the place to grow. The military is a great extended family that will only benefit our future."
Marco Benz Descendant of First Gas Automobile Inventor Karl Benz

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/12/prweb321042.htm

Last edited by James_Van_Thach; 08-01-2007 at 02:05 PM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 02:04 PM
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Why are not the Contractors who supplied the $11 bribes million going to jail?

To them those bribes were just a legitimate cost of doing business, and they are the only ones in the Iraqi war getting a significant benefit from it.

Halliburton and the war profiteers, disgusting. It is in their interest to keep the war going as it is, for 1,000 more years.

These are more examples of the Military Industrial complex President Eisenhower warned about.

This incident points out that there are individuals and entities with a very strong agenda in keeping the caper in Iraq going.

And will pony up the big dollars in pursuit of that agenda. Disgusting, war as just business.

Jim
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade
Why are not the Contractors who supplied the $11 bribes million going to jail?

To them those bribes were just a legitimate cost of doing business, and they are the only ones in the Iraqi war getting a significant benefit from it.

Halliburton and the war profiteers, disgusting. It is in their interest to keep the war going as it is, for 1,000 more years.

These are more examples of the Military Industrial complex President Eisenhower warned about.

This incident points out that there are individuals and entities with a very strong agenda in keeping the caper in Iraq going.

And will pony up the big dollars in pursuit of that agenda. Disgusting, war as just business.
$10 Bln a week is a helluva money.

Some will became very rich during this war. And some will die.

Nothing new under this sun.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 04:18 PM
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heh, heh.....this is the tip of the iceburg! heh, heh........the REAL scenario! Keep 'em rolling! heh, heh.......
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