Debra Harrison

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Debra Harrison (born 1958) was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve who served in the Coalition Provisional Authority from 2003 to 2004. She was arrested on December 15, 2005 on charges involving bribery, money laundering and fraud.[1] Harrison pleaded guilty to Honest services fraud on 28 July 2008; all other charges were dropped by the DoJ. She was sentenced in June 2009 to 30 months in prison.[2]

Crimes[edit]

Harrison allegedly stole between $80,000 and $100,000 in funds from the U.S. governing administration in Iraq, using the money to install a deck and hot tub in her New Jersey home. She was the second United States Army officer and the fourth person charged in December 2005 for their involvement in fraudulent activities.

Harrison's responsibilities as an active duty officer were to develop contract solicitations and order contracts for the CPA's reconstruction efforts in the south central region of Iraq.

Accomplices[edit]

American businessman Philip Bloom pleaded guilty on April 18, 2006 to conspiracy, bribery and money laundering in connection with the scheme to defraud the Coalition Provisional Authority - South Central Region (CPA-SC) during the occupation of Iraq.[3]

The charges related to allegations he bribed Harrison, Lieutenant Colonel Bruce D. Hopfengardner, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Brian Wheeler and a CPA Comptroller and convicted felon named Robert Stein Jr.. Bloom admitted paying Stein and the others more than $2 million in money and gifts in return for them using their official positions to award contracts to Bloom and his companies.

On August 25, 2006, Hopfengardner, one of Harrison's alleged co-conspirators, also pleaded guilty to charges relating to this conspiracy.[4]

Lt. Col. Harrison's husband, William Driver, was convicted in 2009 of assisting his wife in laundering the money received from bribes. He made four payments of $9,000 to a home improvement contractor to evade the U.S. Treasury reporting requirements on cash transactions exceeding $10,000. He was scheduled for sentencing on 03 Dec 2009.[5][needs update]

Congressional report[edit]

A summary of the Bloom/ Stein conspiracy was published by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction as an appendix to is October 30, 2006 Quarterly Report to the United States Congress.[6] The conspiracy is estimated to have defrauded the Coalition Provisional Authority of more than $8.6 million.

References[edit]

  1. ^ SECOND U.S. ARMY OFFICER ARRESTED IN CASE INVOLVING BRIBERY,FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME IN AL-HILLAH, IRAQ, United States Department of Justice, December 15, 2005
  2. ^ FBI Press Release of Guilty Plea, Federal Bureau of Investigation, July 28, 2008
  3. ^ Contractor Pleads Guilty In Case Involving Bribery, Fraud And Money Laundering Scheme In Al-Hillah, Iraq, United States Department of Justice, April 18, 2006
  4. ^ Army Reserve Officer Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Conspiracy Involving Stolen Currency and Fraud in Iraq, US Newswire, August 25, 2006
  5. ^ A Summary of the Bloom/ Stein Conspiracy, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, October 30, 2006