NC soldiers plead guilty to stealing $1.3M from Afghan firm
Posted March 19, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Three soldiers from North Carolina have pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal almost $1.3 million from an Afghanistan military contractor while they were deployed, according to federal court documents.
Staff Sgt. Jason Begany, of Erwin, Sgt. Edwin Vando, of Hope Mills, and Sgt. Juan Lamboy Rivera, of Raeford, were all stationed at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2009 with the 82nd Finance Battalion, where they were responsible for paying contractors, prosecutors said.
Abdul Wasi Faqiri Co. Ltd., which provided uniforms and equipment to the Afghan National Army and police contacted the Camp Eggers finance office in May 2009 about a possible $1.3 million overpayment on its contract. Prosecutors said that, after determining there was no overpayment, the three soldiers worked with an Afghan national to steal the money.
The men had the contractor wire the money to a bank account, and the Afghan national withdrew some of the money and delivered it to Camp Eggers, where the soldiers divvied it up, prosecutors said. The soldiers then used the money to buy silk Persian rugs.
Federal authorities have seized 13 rugs and are seeking a court order requiring the soldiers to forfeit the rugs, unspecified real estate and almost $1.3 million in cash, court documents state.
All three will be sentenced later.