Defence contractor agrees to pay $434m in fine
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): A group of Supreme companies has pleaded guilty to corruption charges in Afghanistan and has agreed to pay a total of $434 million in penalties to settle charges of major fraud against the United States.
Supreme Foodservice GmbH, a privately held Swiss company, and Supreme Foodservice FZE, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) firm, agreed to resolve civil violations of the False Claims Act, in connection with a contract to provide food and water to the US troops serving in Afghanistan.
The Justice Department said the companies pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (EDPA) and paid USD288.36 million in the criminal case, a sum that includes the maximum criminal fine allowed.
In addition, Supreme Group BV and several of its subsidiaries have agreed to pay an additional USD146 million to resolve a related civil lawsuit, as well as two separate civil matters, alleging false billings to the Department of Defense for fuel and transporting cargo to American soldiers in Afghanistan.
“The civil resolutions and agreements reflect the Justice Department’s continuing efforts to hold accountable contractors that have engaged in war profiteering,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
“These companies chose to commit their fraud in connection with a contract to supply food and water to our nation’s fighting men and women serving in Afghanistan,” said U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“That kind of conduct is repugnant, and we will use every available resource to punish such illegal war profiteering,” he said.
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