US Firm Paid Bribes for Iraq Contracts: Army

21 others barred from government work in ongoing scandal probe
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2007 4:51 AM CDT
Ordnance experts stand behind a box of artillary shells in an ammunition storage site next to Aswalim village about 100 kilometers south- east of Baghdad , Iraq, on Sunday, June 10, 2007. Iraq contractors...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An American company paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to secure some $12 million in contracts in Iraq and Kuwait, despite poor performance on earlier work, according to court documents obtained by the New York Times. Lee Dynamics International was suspended from seeking government work after an Army officer admitted to taking $225,000 in bribes before killing herself last year.

The scandal became public when Lee Dynamics contested the suspension, requiring the filing of court documents. The company, which denies the allegations, is one of 22 businesses and individuals suspended from government work, pending findings of an Army bribery and fraud probe. Lee was awarded contracts in 2004 and 2005 to build supply warehouses, and paid bribes to at least two officers in the process, according to documents. (Read more Iraq stories.)