Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root charged millions to the government for recreational services never provided to U.S. troops in Iraq including giant tubs of chicken wings and tacos, a widescreen TV, and cheese sticks meant for a military Super Bowl party, according to a federal whistle-blower suit unsealed Friday.
Instead, the suit alleges, KBR used the military's supplies for its own football party.
Filed last year in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by former KBR employee Julie McBride, the lawsuit claims the giant defense contractor billed the government for thousands of meals it never served, inflated the number of soldiers using its fitness and Internet centers, and regularly siphoned off great quantities of supplies destined for American soldiers.
Supplies destined for American soldiers. Billed the government for thousands of meals it never served. Halliburton says they have done nothing wrong.
Halliburton denied McBride's allegations.
"The claims included in this lawsuit clearly demonstrate a complete misinterpretation of facts as well as a lack of understanding of KBR's contractual agreements with its customer," said company spokeswoman Melissa Norcross in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
The Super Bowl incident occurred in January 2005, the suit said. "McBride witnessed a large amount of food that was ordered specifically for a Super Bowl party for the military" taken instead to the company's lodgings. "About 10 large metal tubs full of tacos, chicken wings, (and) cheese sticks were taken from the military party site to a KBR camp for a KBR Super Bowl Party for KBR employees," according to the complaint. A widescreen TV was also removed.
McBride worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, at Camp Fallujah's recreation center, where the government was billed according to the number of soldiers using the contractor's facilities, which included a weight room, video games, Internet cafe, a library and phone bank, the suit says. She alleges that KBR deliberately overstated the number of military personnel using its services by counting the same person several times. For example, a person who used a computer was counted as one. If that person went on the weight room, another count was added to the list of patrons.
"It wasn't double-dipping, but triple dipping or even quadruple billing," the suit claims.
Having just been part of a community that just buried a young man who died in Iraq, these allegations, which I will state that is what they are right now, makes me react angrily.
I just have no faith at all in what our government is doing right now.
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