And gets a slap on the wrist from the DOJ. via LA Times – Texas businessman settles military food mislabeling case for $15 million
A Texas businessman has agreed to pay $15 million to settle federal allegations that he and his company cheated the government by selling old and potentially dangerous food to the U.S. military to supply combat troops serving in Iraq and elsewhere.
Prosecutors had alleged that Samir Mahmoud Itani and his company American Grocers Ltd. profited from the Middle East conflict by ripping off taxpayers and shortchanging U.S. soldiers in the mess hall. According to the government, Itani’s firm bought deeply discounted products whose freshness dates had expired or were nearing expiration. His workers then altered those dates and resold those supplies to the government for hefty markups, prosecutors alleged.
On Friday, Department of Justice officials announced that Itani, his wife, Suzanne, his brother Ziad and the company agreed to pay the penalty to settle the false-claim charges in this federal whistle-blower case.
Samir Itani could not be reached for comment. According to property records, he owns a $2.2-million, 9,931-square-foot mansion with two elevators in an upscale Houston neighborhood.
Prosecutors said that Samir Itani, 51, and a tightknit group of family and business acquaintances sold at least $36 million worth of mislabeled food products to the government.
The shopping list was long and included potato flakes, salad dressing, produce, peanut butter, lobster and hamburger patties, according to the federal complaint. The supplies flowed out of Texas and to bases across the Middle East from about 2003 to 2006 during the Iraq war.
As the U.S. military presence grew in the Middle East, Itani’s business boomed. American Grocers shipped so much stale merchandise that the company bought paint solvent by the barrel and set up assembly lines to wipe out the old labels to make room for the phony dates, according to the complaint.
The Justice Department did not say whether any troops were sickened by the food supplied by American Grocers, or whether any of the food companies that sold items to Itani knew of any wrongdoing.
What happened to the other $16 million taxpayer dollars?
Apparently it was the second time Samir Mahmoud Itani had duped the U.S. government – according to this FBI press release and indictment, unless they are one and the same. He was “charged in a 46-count indictment with conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims and with making false claims,” according to this DOJ press release.
www. latimes. com
Answer by lovinangels at 1:00 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by LoriKeet at 1:07 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by Farmlady09 at 1:18 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by Raine2001 at 2:24 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by grlygrlz2 at 6:40 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by autodidact at 8:13 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by autodidact at 8:17 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Any company that does this once should end up on the inside of a federal prison breaking rocks ~ for life.
so does that include Halliburton/KBR/Blackwater, Farm?
Answer by autodidact at 8:20 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by itsmesteph11 at 8:44 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by Farmlady09 at 9:19 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Next question overall
If you have had kids already can you show sooner when you get pregnant again.