Army ex-employee charged with bribery in scheme to steer contracts to Kuwait base

A former U.S. Army employee was charged Thursday for his role in a bribery scheme to steer contracts to a U.S. Army base in Kuwait, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.

Ephraim Garcia, 62, was charged in an indictment with one count of offering a bribe, one count of receiving illegal gratuities and one county of offering kickbacks, according to a DOJ release.

U.S. soldiers walk near vehicles at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait as they prepare to head to Iraq.

U.S. soldiers walk near vehicles at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait as they prepare to head to Iraq. (Reuters)

Gandhi Raj, 39, was also charged with paying illegal gratuities to Garcia.

Per the indictment, Garcia was responsible for attracting and managing various government contracts related to projects at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.

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Somewhere around September 2015, Garcia allegedly offered to pay a contractor in exchange for steering contractors to Raj, who owned the subcontractor Gulf Link Venture Company, the DOJ said. Garcia allegedly told the contractor that Gulf Link would artificially inflate the price and that Garcia, Gulf Link and the contractor would split the proceeds.

Garcia and members of his immediate family are also accused of having received more than $170,000 in wire transfers from Raj or Gulf Link-affiliates and another contractor.

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Garcia was arrested Tuesday in the Philippines, where he’d been living since 2016, the DOJ said. Raj, who lived in Kuwait at the time of the alleged offenses, remains at large.