Daily Archives: September 2, 2006

FEMA employees sentenced in kickback scheme

Two Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) officials working in the New Orleans region following Hurricane Katrina were sentenced in federal court to 21 months imprisonment and fined $20,000 each in a bribery-kickback scheme. Andrew Rose and Loyd Holliman, both residents of Colorado, were FEMA Disaster Assistance employees charged with managing the FEMA LB Landry base camp located in New Orleans, La., and were public officials in their capacity as employees of FEMA. Both defendants were arrested by special agents of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General in January of 2006 following an undercover investigation which began after both Rose and Holliman approached a Louisiana businessman under contract for $1 million in food services, demanding that the businessman illegally kick back to them an initial payment of $20,000 and weekly payments of $5,000 as payment for the contract.


Australian Government Knew Of Oil for Food Kickbacks

New evidence to the Australian Cole inquiry into the Iraq oil for food scandal reportedly shows the Federal Government knew about the kickbacks despite denials.

Sky News is reporting a nine page handwritten note, presented to the Cole inquiry, proves the Federal Government knew two years ago that the Australian Wheat Bureau was embroiled in the Iraq oil for food scandal.  It says the notes, written by a senior foreign affairs official, were taken during two meetings with an Australian army colonel about corruption in the programme in July 2004.
Several senior Australian Government officials and ministers, including the Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, have said they either did not know of the scandal or ignored warnings made by rival wheat sellers. But Sky News says the author of the note was head of a Government task-force that was made up representatives from the departments of Prime Minister, Cabinet and Defence.


FBI looks for “Corrupt Bastards Club” hats in Alaska corruption probe

Among the items federal agents were searching for in Alaska legislative offices this week are hats or garments labeled “Corrupt Bastards Club” or “Corrupt Bastards Caucus,” according to the search warrant. FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents raided a half-dozen state lawmakers’ offices across Alaska Thursday and continuing Friday, looking for ties between them and oil field services giant VECO Corp. A copy of one of the search warrants, obtained by The Associated Press, links the investigation to the new production tax law signed last month by Gov. Frank Murkowski and the natural gas pipeline draft contract Murkowski and the state’s three largest oil companies negotiated.


Afghan ’06 Opium Harvest Up 59% To Record 6,100 Tons -UN

Opium cultivation in Afghanistan is spiraling out of control, rising 59% this year to produce a record 6,100 tons – nearly a third more than the world’s drug users consume, the U.N. said Saturday. Antonio Maria Costa, the U.N. anti-drugs chief, said the results from his agency’s annual survey of Afghanistan’s poppy crop, were “very alarming.” “This year’s harvest will be around 6,100 tons of opium – a staggering 92% of total world supply. It exceeds global consumption by 30%,” Costa told reporters in Kabul after presenting the survey to President Hamid Karzai. Opium is the raw material of heroin.