Tonya Papanikolas Reporting A Utah man has been charged in federal court with conspiring to defraud the interim Coalition Government in Iraq out of millions of dollars and taking bribes to seal the deal.
We found out that 51-year-old Curtis Whiteford was a member of the Utah Army National Guard for 25 years. He was a maintenance supervisor when KSL interviewed him in 1995, then became a helicopter pilot. After that he joined the Army Reserves and left for Iraq, where he oversaw the awarding of contracts to help rebuild the country.
The indictment alleges that Whiteford helped rig the bids so one company received all the reconstruction contracts, worth more than eight million dollars. In return, Whiteford would get kickbacks.
The indictment shows Whiteford accepted a $3,200 watch, $10,000 in stolen cash, three airline tickets and a laptop computer bought with stolen funds. He also asked for a Nissan 350 Z sports car and a sport utility vehicle to be delivered to his Utah home.
In addition to the bribery, court documents say Whiteford helped steal money that had been designated for the reconstruction of Iraq. Some of the money was used to buy weapons for personal use.
Paul McNulty, Deputy Attorney General: "We cannot allow a mission as important as the reconstruction of Iraq to fall victim to fraud, corruption and theft."
We spoke to a man tonight who got to know Whiteford working in Iraq. He said he was shocked at the news and never saw any behavior to suggest Whiteford could be involved in something like this.