The Pentagon overpaid as much as $200 million on a series of contracts to deliver jet fuel. An audit by the Defense Department’s inspector general found that a Florida oilman was paid “$160 [million] to $204 million more for fuel than could be supported by price or cost analysis,” The Washington Post reported.
The study also found three of the contracts awarded to Florida businessman Harry Sargeant III were awarded under conditions that cut out other bidders. The military contracts involved totaled some $2.7 billion, the Post said.
An earlier congressional probe, led by Rep. Harry Waxman, D-Calif., alleged the businessman used a relationship with Jordan’s royal family to get exclusive rights to supply U.S. bases in Iraq.
In a statement, Waxman said, the audit “confirmed what we found in 2008: the International Oil Trading Company overcharged by hundreds of millions of dollars while the Bush administration looked the other way,” the Post reported.
An attorney for Sargeant said in an interview last year that the House investigation was motivated by politics and that his client had done nothing wrong. Ron Uscher said that a “guy like Harry Sargeant has a lot of targets on his chest. He’s a rich guy, an oil guy, and he is bidding on war contracts,” the Post said.
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