U.S. soldier charged in Iraq kickbacks

Aug. 18, 2009 at 12:24 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A U.S. Army captain orchestrated a military contractor kickback scheme in Iraq, which he enforced at gunpoint, U.S. prosecutors say.

Indictments filed in U.S. District Court in New York City claim Bryant Williams, 38, of the 101st Airborne Division in Baghdad operated a $500,000 kickback plan, during which he, at one point, "brandished his firearm" at the contractors, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

The indictment alleges Williams, a former All-American college track star, established illegal deals with contractors but then got greedy, asking for "a higher percentage of payments for each contract." Ultimately, he allegedly threatened the contractors with physical harm when he found out they had secretly arranged supply deals with other Army units, the newspaper said.

The Post said the recommended maximum sentence is nearly 10 years if Williams is convicted.

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