Friday, May 11, 2007

CIA official, contractor, face new corruption indictments

The previous number three official at the CIA, "Dusty" Foggo, and the contractor, Brent Wilkes, who allegedly bribed him to arrange a $100,000,000 contract are facing new indictments on thirty charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. From the Sacramento Bee:
According to the new indictment, Foggo provided Wilkes with "sensitive, internal information related to our national security," including classified information, to help him prepare proposals for providing undercover flights for the CIA under the guise of a civil aviation company and armored vehicles for agency operations. Foggo allegedly then pushed his CIA colleagues to hire Wilkes' companies without disclosing their longstanding friendship.

In a June 2005 e-mail to the head of CIA air operations quoted in the indictment, Foggo offered to "use some 'EXDIR grease'" on Wilkes' behalf - apparently a reference to his title as the agency's executive director.

Prosecutors say that in return, Wilkes offered to hire Foggo after he retired from government service. In the meantime, he allegedly treated his friend to a Scottish golf trip during which they racked up a $44,000 hotel bill at the luxurious Pitcastle Estate.

Details in the indictment show that the arrangement between the two men began deteriorating in the summer of 2005, as the federal investigation into Cunningham began to envelop Wilkes. Foggo, who hosted a lunch in the CIA dining room for Wilkes in February of that year, allegedly instructed a CIA employee not to hire his friend after federal agents raided Wilkes Corp. offices in August.
This grew out of the Abramoff corruption investigations, and may well have been the reason why the U.S. Attorney for San Diego, Carol Lam, was fired. These new indictments replace the indictments filed by Carol Lam two days before she was forced to leave her job by the Department of Justice.

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