UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 4, 2009

GREAT MOMENTS IN DEFENSE SPENDING

LA Times - A contractor who pleaded guilty to bilking the Pentagon out of more than $20 million during a nine-year fraudulent billing scheme was sentenced o six years in prison and ordered to repay $15.5 million. Charlene Corley, 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Margaret B. Seymour in Columbia, S.C. Corley also was ordered to serve three years of court-supervised release.

Among the Defense Department payments made to Corley, co-owner of a South Carolina parts distributor, was $998,798 for shipping two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas; $455,009 to ship three machine screws costing $1.31 each to Marines in Habbaniyah, Iraq; and $293,451 to ship an 89-cent split washer to Patrick Air Force Base in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Pentagon records show. Prosecutors said in court papers the money was used to buy four beach houses; custom jewelry; vacations to Hawaii, Alaska and the Caribbean; plastic surgery; and "high-end automobiles made by Mercedes and Lexus."

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