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Cars, jewelry and sex buys reconstruction contracts in Iraq

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Issue: 36 Section: International News Iraq Topics: development

April 24, 2006

Cars, jewelry and sex buys reconstruction contracts in Iraq

by Hillary Bain Lindsay

In order to obtain lucrative reconstruction projects in Iraq, Philip Bloom offered US officials money, cars, premium airline seats, jewelry, alcohol, and sexual favours from women at his villa in Baghdad, reports the Associated Press.

Bloom's companies won $8.6 million worth of reconstruction contracts in exchange for $2 million worth of bribes. According to court documents made public on April 18th, Bloom is pleading guilty to conspiracy, bribery, and money laundering.

In one e-mail included with the court papers, an unnamed official
requested an electric blue Nissan 350Z sports car costing over $35 000. An employee trying to find the car told Bloom in an e-mail it was a "very desirable, hard-to-find color'' and only two were available in the Western U.S., reports CorpWatch.

Bloom is one of four people charged so far in a scheme that included the theft of $2 million in reconstruction money and the illegal purchase of machine guns and other weapons.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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