Criminal charges have been filed against an Afghan businessman accused of bribing U.S. troops.
A complaint filed last week in federal court in North Carolina alleges Hikmatullah Shadman bribed two former Fort Bragg soldiers while they were deployed in 2009.
Shadman is the owner and operator of Hikmat Shadman Logistics Services Co., also known as Hikmat Shadman Supply and Construction Co., which has worked as a subcontractor on several U.S. military contracts in Afghanistan since 2007.
He’s charged with conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, according to court documents.
According to officials, Shadman’s company was one of several that benefited from “irregularities” in the contracting process in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2012.
The companies, which typically provided transportation or heavy equipment leases, were granted contracts and subcontracts despite charging rates above their competitors.
The complaint, authored by a Fayetteville-based FBI agent, cites the cases of two soldiers who have pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from Shadman.
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Warren Green, who previously pleaded guilty to demanding, seeking and receiving gratuities while deployed with the 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, is alleged to have received approximately $140,000 from Shadman over four months in 2009.
The first payment was $50,000 in a bundle of $100 bills from Shadman in January 2009 at his business outside Kandahar Air Field.
Capt. David Anthony Kline, who was Green’s superior officer during the Afghanistan deployment, also pleaded guilty to demanding, seeking and receiving gratuities. He allegedly received $50,000 from Shadman at the same compound in Kandahar.
Green was sentenced to 10 months in prison and one year of supervised release in September, months after pleading guilty to steering contracts to Shadman’s company.
Kline reached a plea agreement with prosecutors last month that included his cooperating in the case against Shadman.
In Green’s case, prosecutors said his efforts steered at least 40 contracts worth $3 million to the Afghan businessman.
The charge against Shadman follows investigations by the FBI, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
The latter has previously tussled with Shadman, leading the Justice Department to freeze more than $63 million associated with the Afghan as part of a corruption investigation in 2013.
At the time, the SIGAR said the money was “allegedly obtained through fraudulent means, located in bank accounts held in Afghanistan and in correspondent banks in the United States and abroad.”
In a release from August of that year, SIGAR said it was the first seizure of its kind in Afghanistan.
The investigative agency accused Shadman of defrauding the U.S. of more than $77 million by charging inflated prices for trucking contracts to deliver U.S. military supplies.
Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3567.