US Hires Ex-Con To Manage Iraq Funds
Not satisfied with the pool of incompetent bureaucrats waiting for special appointments, the Bush administration taps into a civilian pool of ex-cons.
[Philip Bloom, a contractor in Iraq, faces up to 40 years in prison after] pleading guilty to providing money, sex and designer watches to US officials in exchange for more than $US8 million ($10.8 million) in reconstruction contracts.What ever happened to background checks??? They run them on janitors, but they hand this guy $82 million without checking to see if he's a criminal?
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The scheme began in January 2004, when Bloom began paying bribes to Robert Stein, a civilian contractor who controlled $US82 million in reconstruction funds as the comptroller for the coalition's headquarters in Hillah.
Stein, who had a previous conviction for fraud when he was hired, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in February. He funnelled money and favours from Bloom to other officials in Hillah, all of whom helped direct contracts to a group of companies controlled by Bloom, court documents say.
If this is standard operating procedure for government contracts, this is a bigger scandal than the money Stein accepted from Bloom.
But, I could be wrong. They might have KNOWN they were hiring an ex-con!