Army officer pleads guilty in Iraq contracting

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A retired Army lieutenant colonel pleaded guilty Tuesday to misusing his position as a contracting officer in Iraq six years ago to enrich himself, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Harold Broek, 49, of Lacey admitted steering military contracts to a company set up by his own family. They made tens of thousands of dollars in profit on one deal for radios, federal prosecutors said.

Broek has agreed to pay $52,000 in restitution and he could face up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 15 in federal court in Tacoma.

Broek pleaded guilty to the charge of criminal conflict of interest in a deal with the Justice Department, which agreed not to prosecute his family, The News Tribune reported ( http://bit.ly/164Mhes).

In 2007, Broek was deployed as chief of contracting for the Tikrit Regional Contracting Center.

He exploited a partnership with an Iraqi contractor named Rohit Goel by guiding work to Goel's Avalon International Limited, court records said. Goel in turn would steer significant portions of certain contracts to a business called Global Motion, which was run by Broek's family.

On the radio deal, Broek shortened a deadline for an Army contract worth $162,151 in such a way that heavily favored Goel. Goel fronted Global Motion $99,978 to supply the radios. Global Motion spent $58,733 buying radios and kept the rest of the money, court records said.

Tax records showed Global Motion made a profit of $52,400 in 2007 and 2008, which determined the amount of restitution.

The case was investigated by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Recovery, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

___

Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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