A federal civil trial, which opened last week in the Western District of Virginia, offers an intimate view of the sausage making of war procurement, which over the years has resulted in billions of dollars in waste and fraud.
This case involves the 2006 sale of armored trucks, called Gurkhas, from a company called Armet Armored Vehicles to the military, via the Joint Contracting Command Iraq. Known as the JCCI, the command was responsible for purchasing billions of dollars worth of stuff for the Iraq war effort.
As per its agreement with the JCCI, Armet, which started in Largo but according to documents moved when it couldn’t pay its suppliers here, was supposed to deliver 32 Gurkhas. The trucks were being purchased to “provide security to Iraqi ‘VIPs’ who regularly traveled by motorcade through a ‘hostile and dangerous environment,’” according to a federal indictment charging Armet with three counts of major fraud against the United States, seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of false, fictitious and fraudulent claims.
Each of the armored gun trucks was supposed to be able to prevent armor-piercing rounds from entering the vehicle and have enough mine plating on its belly to withstand blast underneath “from grenades and/or blasts of whatever nature equivalent to the strength of two DM51” German landmines.
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