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03-26-06, 02:34 AM #1
Ex-KBR Employee Pleads Guilty to Kickbacks
Fri Mar 24, 12:49 PM ET
An ex-employee of a Halliburton subsidiary pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks from a Saudi subcontractor that was awarded a multimillion-dollar U.S. military contract. An official with the subcontractor, meanwhile, was charged with lying to authorities.
Stephen Lowell Seamans of Maryland, a former Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc. manager, pleaded guilty March 10 to wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money, the U.S. attorney's office in Springfield said Thursday.
He was accused of accepting more than $124,000 from Tamimi Global Co., which was awarded a $14.4 million subcontract in 2002 to provide dining facilities for soldiers in Kuwait.
Prosecutors also announced the arrest of Mohammad Shabbir Khan, the Tamimi Global operations director. Khan was charged with making false statements to federal agents.
The charges against the two and related court documents were made public Thursday, the day after Khan was arrested.
Kahn had agreed to come to Rock Island, where the U.S. Army Operations Support Command is based, to meet with federal officials Wednesday, a statement from U.S. Attorney Rodger Heaton's office said. Kahn was told he would not be charged with anything that happened beforehand but could be charged if he lied at the meeting, but then made false statements anyway, Heaton's office said.
Heaton said Seamans, whose job at KBR involved negotiating with subcontractors, agreed to cooperate in "rooting out corruption in the military procurement supply chain." Seamans' plea agreement also said he agreed to take a kickback from another company in Kuwait, which was not identified.
Seamans, 44, is to be sentenced Aug. 4 and faces up to 20 years in prison on each of two counts, and fines of $750,000. If convicted, Khan, 49, a naturalized U.S. citizen, faces up to five years and a $250,000 fine.
Halliburton spokeswoman Melissa Norcross said Friday that Seamans has not worked for KBR since 2003, and that the company had told the U.S. government of possible misconduct by him.
"We do not tolerate this kind of behavior by anyone at any level," Norcross said in a statement.
A message left at Tamimi's Saudi headquarters on Friday was not immediately returned.
Last month, federal prosecutors said an executive for a subcontractor hired by KBR to fly cargo into Iraq pleaded guilty to inflating invoices by $1.14 million. Halliburton was formerly headed by Vice President Cheney.
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