Defense Contractor Accused of Scheming to Defraud Pentagon Out of $8 Billion

Three former executives involved in an $8 billion U.S. military supply contract were charged Thursday for allegedly conspiring to defraud the Pentagon and conduct illicit trade with Iran. Federal prosecutors say Abul Huda Farouki, the former chief executive of Anham FZCO, his brother, Mazen Farouki, and another associate, Salah Maarouf, “schemed to defraud the Department of Defense” to win the contract in 2012, providing “knowingly false” information and using “staged” photographs—all while allegedly “conspiring” to boost profits by shipping equipment through Iran. All three men pleaded not guilty in Washington, D.C. on Thursday to the charges of major fraud, engaging in illegal trade with Iran, and laundering money internationally. Anham has denied the charges, which it said were “without legal merit,” claiming the contracts saved the U.S. government $1.4 billion. “ANHAM continues to cooperate with the Justice Department," the company said in a statement on its website. The contract, which promised to supply food and water to American troops, had a $30 billion ceiling.