They say go big or go home…..and that’s what Abdul Huda Farouki, Mazen Farouki and Salah Maarouf all allegedly did, according to new reports and new allegations.
Not only that, but Abul Huda Farouki is reported to be a close Clinton ally and huge donor to the DNC and Clinton Foundation!
How’s thay saying go……”Birds of a feather, _______”?
WTOP had more on the story:
Three men from Northern Virginia have been charged with defrauding the Department of Defense of nearly $9 billion in contracts.
Abdul Huda Farouki, 75, of McLean, his brother Mazen Farouki, 73, of Boyce and Salah Maarouf, 71, of Fairfax all pleaded not guilty to eight counts each of fraud and violating sanctions against Iran.
Federal prosecutors say the three men — all executives connected to defense contractor Anham FZCO based in the United Arab Emirates — were awarded an $8 billion contract to provide supplies and food to American troops in Afghanistan in 2012.
The indictment says that the company gave false timelines for when the work would be done on two warehouses, and that they backed up those claims with misleading photos that made construction appear to be further along than in reality.
In addition to creating the false appearance of an active construction site, the company is also accused of trying to cut costs by moving those supplies through Iran, in violation of U.S. sanctions. When Abdul Huda Farouki learned that The Wall Street Journal was going to run a story about Anham moving supplies through Iran illegally, investigators say he sent an email to a senior Pentagon official saying that senior management had no knowledge of the plans.
The company was also awarded a second contract worth $984 million to bring trucking services to the U.S. Military in Afghanistan. Again, according to the indictment, the trucks were moved through Iran in an effort to save money, in violation of sanctions.
So did TownHall:
Three Virginia businessmen were charged with attempting to defraud the United States Military by engaging in illegal commerce in Iran and laundering money internationally in an attempt at winning contracts in Afghanistan.
In 2012, Anham FZCO, a defense contractor based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which maintained offices in Dubai, UAE, Jordan and the United States, was awarded an $8 billion contract to provide food and supplies to U.S. troops stations in Afghanistan. During the bidding process, Anham said they would build two warehouses to provide supplies. According to the indictment, Anham executives knowingly provided false estimates of the completion dates for the warehouses and by providing the government with misleading photographs intended to convey that Anham’s progress on the warehouses was further along than it actually was. The company allegedly took construction materials and equipment to a site in February 2012 when they created the false appearance of an active construction site. Anham took photos, sent them to the Department of Defense as "in-progress," and then deconstructed the temporary site.
According to the Department of Justice, bidders were required to certify that they abide by the Iran Sanctions Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens and companies from engaging in commercial activity in Iran. The company allegedly violated the sanctions by shipping warehouse materials to Iran and then, eventually, Afghanistan. They did this as a means of saving money.
"According to the indictment, after learning that the Wall Street Journalwas planning to run a story detailing Anham’s practice of shipping materials through Iran, Abul Huda Farouki sent an email to a senior Department of Defense official, which falsely claimed that senior management at Anham had been unaware that the transshipments through Anham had taken place," the DOJ said in a release.
A similar situation occurred with the National Afghan Trucking (NAT) contract, which was a $984 million contract that required Anham to supply trucking services to the U.S. Military in Afghanistan. Instead of shipping trucks directly to Afghanistan, Anham allegedly violated sanctions against Iran and transported trucks through the country.
The indictment alleges that the defendants’ conduct violated laws prohibiting fraud, commercial activity with Iran, and international money laundering.
Even the NYTimes has confirmed the story:
A wealthy businessman who until recently was head of the company that feeds American troops in Afghanistan has been charged in federal court with violating sanctions against trade with Iran, along with other offenses.
The federal indictment charged Abul Huda Farouki, 75, a Jordanian-American and philanthropist from Virginia with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, with conspiracy to commit money laundering, violating sanctions against Iran, and fraud. The charges are in connection with more than $8 billion in contracts held by the company, Anham FZCO, to provide food and other logistical support to American troops in Afghanistan.
The charges involving Anham make a series of legal cases against the three major food service companies serving American troops in Afghanistan since 2005.
A spokesman for Anham, Matthew Miller, said Mr. Farouki resigned as Anham’s chairman on Nov. 21, less than a week before the indictment was issued. It was unclear if Mr. Farouki retains an ownership stake in the company, where he also once served as chief executive officer.
Also charged in the case were Mr. Farouki’s brother, Mazen Farouki, 73, the owner of a closely associated company, and Salah Marouf, 71, who owned a company that did business with the Farouki brothers’ firms. Both are also American citizens. All three were indicted last Thursday in United States District Court in Washington, and each was released on $50,000 personal recognizance bail.
Mr. Farouki’s lawyer, Adam Hoffinger, issued a statement disputing the criminal charges, saying they were “at most a regulatory infraction, and one which Mr. Farouki and his company, Anham, voluntarily disclosed to the government long ago.”
Mr. Hoffinger’s statement went on to say that Anham had saved the United States government $1.4 billion with its current food services contract.
“It replaced an earlier contract that the United States government had with another company that pleaded guilty to fraud against the United States, including overbilling,” he said.
After Anham won the food services contract in Afghanistan in 2012, the previous contractor, Supreme Group, complained that Anham was undercutting Supreme by, among other things, saving costs by shipping through Iran. Supreme Group later itself pleaded guilty to inflating prices on goods to Afghanistan in 2012. Another food service company, Agility, had been banned from renewing its contract in 2009 after an indictment for fraudulent accounting.
John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said the case began with information from an unidentified whistle-blower four years ago.
“We’ve been following this for a long time,” he said.
In all, the inspector general’s agency has won convictionsof 132 people, mostly contractors in Afghanistan, as of October. Mr. Sopko asserted that corruption among American contractors has undercut efforts to fight the serious corruption problems in the country already.
“We just poured so much money into the country we contributed to the corruption problem, we were like throwing fuel on the fire,” Mr. Sopko said.
Other officials at his agency credited a 2013 article in The Wall Street Journal with prompting the investigation. The article detailed Anham’s efforts to circumvent Iranian sanctions and save on costs by shipping through Iran, and it was based on internal emails from Anham. At the time, the Pakistan border was closed and the alternative of shipping through Central Asian countries was much more costly.
According to a statement from the Department of Justice, Mr. Farouki and his co-defendants saved money on their supply contracts by shipping through Iran and then denied having done so to the Department of Defense after they became aware The Journal was about to publish its article, which also appeared based on information from a company insider. The company maintained a subcontractor was responsible, unknown to Anham’s senior managers, according to the government’s indictment.
The indictment also says that while Mr. Farouki was the company’s chief executive officer, it pretended to build warehouses required by its $8 billion “prime subsistence vendor” contract, photographed the buildings under construction to show to the government, then disassembled them.
Mr. Farouki was close to the Clintons and was a major contributor to the Clinton Foundation and other Democratic causes. He was also the chairman of the board of the American University of Afghanistan, which is funded by the United States government, until Nov. 26, according to a spokesman for the university, who suggested Mr. Farouki’s resignation had nothing to do with the Nov. 29 indictment.
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