According to a press release issued by the United States Department of Justice, Bruce Hopfengardner of Virginia, was sentenced on charges of money laundering and conspiracy Monday.
Hopfengardner’s charges and sentence resulted from his admitted participation in a scheme meant to de-fraud the Coalition Provisional Authority – South Central Region located in Iraq. Hopfengardner was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army on active duty with CPA-SC at the time of his criminal activity.
The scheme to defraud the CPA-SC and launder money was complex and involved many conspirators including military personnel, contractors, and public officials.
The scheme took place during the years that Phillip Bloom, one of Hopfengardner’s co-conspirators, operated companies in Romania and Iraq. The conspirators allegedly rigged bids to ensure that Bloom’s company received all of the CPA-SC’s contracts. According to the Justice Department’s press release Bloom provided the conspirators with incentives to participate in the scheme including $1 million in cash along with: jewelry, liquor, cars, motorcycles, future employment, and other kickbacks.
Bloom took careful steps to ensure that he covered his tracks including use of foreign bank accounts to send public officials, and other conspirators including Hopfengardner money.
The illegal activity resulted in Bloom receiving rigged contracts worth upwards of $8.6 million.
Hopfengardner was sentenced to 22 months in prison; three years supervised release, and a forfeiture of $144,500.
Bloom was previously sentenced on February 16th, 2007 to 46 months in prison, and a forfeiture of $3.6 million for his involvement in the scheme, according to the Justice Department’s website.
The complex nature of the case caused a large number of government agencies to investigate it. The participating agencies include: The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security (ICE), the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Army Criminal Investigations Division, Justice Department’s National Procurement Fraud Task Force and the International Contract Corruption Initiative.
In an effort to curb cases such as this one the Justice Department formed the National Procurement Fraud Initiative. The program was specifically designed to prevent and prosecute fraud pertaining to contracts for Government programs and National Security. Part of this program is the National Procurement Fraud Task Force headed by Alice Fisher, the Assistant Attorney General.
United States Department of Justice