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Saturday, March 7, 2009

US officer charged with stealing Iraqi funds

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 00:55:43 GMT | PressTV

US soldiers in Iraq
A US military officer is charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash intended for relief and reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

While stationed in Iraq between April 2007 and February 2009, 28-year-old Michael Dung Nguyen, is alleged to have stolen more than USD 690,000 and sending it back to his home in northwestern Oregon State, the Justice department said in a statement.

The funds were swiped from the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP), designed to empower local commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan to respond to humanitarian relief and reconstruction efforts.

After his return from Iraq, Nguyen was accused of opening new accounts at numerous banks, including Bank of America and Washington Mutual Bank, to deposit the cash.

Nguyen has been officially charged on three counts -- theft of government property, money laundering and structuring financial Transition -- and if convicted, could face 30 years in prison and a USD 500,000 fine.

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