US army officer jailed over bribes

26 October 2009

26 October 2009 | Allie Anderson

A contracting officer for the US army has been sentenced to 40 months in prison for accepting bribes totalling more than $80,000 (£49,000).

Staff sergeant James Clifton pleaded guilty in August to one count of bribery after accepting kickbacks from two trucking suppliers last year in exchange for contracts at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Clifton was assigned to the US airfield in February 2008 as a "contracting officer representative" to oversee suppliers providing ground transport to and from the airfield and supporting military operations.

He received a mobile phone from one company in May 2008 and monthly payments of $20,000 (£12,260) in exchange for extra work. He later began accepting $15,000 (£9,200) a month from the second firm in return for additional work.

Between May and October 2008, he received a total of $87,000 (£53,340) in illegal payments. Court documents revealed that affiliates of both companies wired the payments from Dubai to Clifton's girlfriend at the time in Virginia, US.

Clifton was ordered by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to serve three years of supervised release following his jail term.

SMoct2009

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