Soldier gets prison time for stealing from Afghan firm
Posted July 22, 2013
New Bern, N.C. — A soldier from Erwin was sentenced Monday to four years in federal prison for conspiring to steal almost $1.3 million from an Afghanistan military contractor while he was deployed, authorities said.
Staff Sgt. Jason Begany, 31, also was ordered to pay the stolen money back to Abdul Wasi Faqiri Co. Ltd.
Abdul Wasi Faqiri, which provided uniforms and equipment to the Afghan National Army and police, contacted the finance office at Camp Eggers, in Kabul, Afghanistan, in May 2009 about a possible $1.3 million overpayment on its contract.
Begany was stationed at Camp Eggers with the 82nd Finance Battalion, where he was responsible for paying contractors. Prosecutors said he determined that there was no overpayment, but he then conspired with two other soldiers and 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.
Sgt. Edwin Vando, of Hope Mills, and Sgt. Juan Lamboy Rivera, of Raeford, are already serving 30-month prison sentences for their roles in the scheme.
“Public corruption such as (Begany's) criminal conduct undermine our nation’s reconstruction efforts overseas and dishonors the sacrifice our military makes every day,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker said in a statement.