WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A private security firm employee was charged Thursday with bribing two U.S. Army officials so they would buy two armored vehicles he never delivered.
Raul Borcuta, 32, was arrested at Miami International Airport as he tried to enter the United States from Europe, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
Prosecutors allege Borcuta paid two co-conspirators, U.S. Army contracting officials Zachery Taylor and Jared Close, $10,000 each in exchange for their awarding him the contracts for the armored sport utility vehicles. The vehicles were to be used by a government official in Farah province, Afghanistan, who had received death threats from insurgent groups.
Taylor and Close, both 40, assigned to a provincial reconstruction team in Farah, allegedly authorized a payment of about $200,000 in U.S. government funds to Borcuta, who never delivered the vehicles, as required by the contract, a nine-count indictment said.
The indictment charges Borcuta, Taylor and Close with mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, bribery and theft of government funds.
Each of the suspects faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy, 20 years for wire fraud, 10 years for theft of government funds, 15 years for each of four counts of bribery and 20 years for each of two counts of mail fraud.
The Justice didn't say disclose the status of Taylor and Close, both former Army staff sergeants. Borcuta also had been in the Army but it wasn't disclosed what rank he held.