A former employee of the major contracting firm DynCorp International admitted Monday that while working in Iraq, he helped cheat the State Department out of millions of dollars.
Jose Rivera, 57, of Potomac, Md., pleaded guilty in Alexandria federal court to conspiracy to defraud the United States, acknowledging that he helped convince his bosses to rent a camp at Baghdad International Airport for a grossly inflated price. He agreed to cooperate against the other defendants in the scheme.
The State Department ultimately footed the bill for the site as part of a training program for Iraqi police, paying $5,320,000 in rent for the property from September 2011 through April 2014.
Rivera said in court that Emil Popescu, a Romanian contractor in the process of being extradited to the United States, paid him in cash as part of the scheme. Rivera said he only counted the first payment of $15,000 but accepted a government estimate of having received a total of $250,000.
“I have no idea how much money I received,” he said. “I never counted anything.”
Rivera will be sentenced Oct. 6.