Philip Bloom (businessman)
Philip Bloom is an American businessman who pleaded guilty on April 18, 2006 to conspiracy, bribery and money laundering in connection with a scheme to defraud the Coalition Provisional Authority - South Central Region (CPA-SC) during the occupation of Iraq. According to the Sydney Morning Herald Bloom used CPA funds to pay out over $2 million USD in bribes, in cash, real estate, designer cars, watches, and the services of prostitutes he brought to Bagdad. Bloom accepted at least $1 million in bribes and stole a further $600,000 in cash and goods from CPA funds.
Bloom was accused of bribing Lieutenant Colonel Bruce D. Hopfengardner, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Brian Wheeler, Lieutenant Colonel Debra Harrison 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. Bloom, Stein, and the others also facilitated numerous wire transfers of money that were the proceeds of the fraudulently awarded bids and at least $2 million in stolen money from the CPA, in order to conceal the source and origin of the funds.
All of the funds that paid for Bloom's contracts were from the Development Fund for Iraq—Iraqi oil money, administered on behalf of the Iraqi people, by the United States, during the American occupation. These funds were supposed to be under strict financial controls, overseen by the United Nations. A total of $8.6 million in rigged contracts was identified during the trial.
On February 16, 2007, Bloom was fined $3.6 million, ordered to pay a further $3.6 million in restitution and sentenced to 46 months in jail with probation following his sentence as part of a deal for cooperating with the investigation. A Summary of the Bloom/ Stein Conspiracy Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, October 30, 2006 url=http://www.sigir.mil/files/testimony/SIGIR_Testimony_06-003T.pdf
- Contractor Pleads Guilty In Case Involving Bribery, Fraud And Money Laundering Scheme In Al-Hillah, Iraq, United States Department of Justice, April 18, 2006
- T. Christian Miller (April 20, 2006). "Sex and money bought Iraq contracts". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010.
From January to June 2004, when the coalition government was replaced, Bloom provided Stein and officers with first-class air tickets, real estate lots, weapons, new four-wheel-drive vehicles, cigars, designer watches, alcohol, prostitutes at Bloom's Baghdad villa and cash bribes.
- James Glanz (February 2, 2006). "Wide Plot Seen In Guilty Plea In Iraq Project". New York Times.
Over all, Mr. Stein is accused of stealing at least $2 million of American taxpayer money and Iraqi funds, which came from Iraqi oil proceeds and money seized from Saddam Hussein's government, accepting at least $1 million in money and goods in direct bribes and grabbing another $600,000 in cash and goods that belonged to the Coalition Provisional Authority.
- Tony Capaccio (November 17, 2005). "U.S. Files Charges Against U.S. Contractor in Iraq". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010.
Bloom appeared in U.S. District Court in Washington where the papers were filed, marking the first charges brought as a result of audits and follow-up probes by Special Inspector General Stuart Bowen.
- Robert Schmidt (April 16, 2006). "U.S. Files Charges Against U.S. Contractor in Iraq (update 2)". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010.
Bloom faces up to 40 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. Under the plea agreement, he also must pay $3.6 million in restitution and forfeit $3.6 million in assets to the U.S., the Justice Department said.
- Glanz, James (November 17, 2005). "American Faces Charge of Graft for Work in Iraq". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Matthew D. LaPlante (November 7, 2008). "Utah Army officer convicted in bribery scandal". The Salt Lake Tribune.
In that capacity, prosecutors said, Whiteford and others helped rig the bids on more than $8.6 million in contracts, trading his influence for promises of cash, cars, and future employment with American businessman Philip Bloom, who ran several companies doing business with the CPA.
- Philip Bloom arrested in Iraq reconstruction deals scandal, Bucharest Daily News, December 16, 2005
- A Summary of the Bloom/ Stein Conspiracy, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, October 30, 2006
- "Look at Main Iraq Contractor Fraud Cases". SF Chronicle. November 23, 2007.
- U.S. Department Of Justice; Husband of Former Army Officer Pleads Guilty to Laundering Money Stolen From Iraq, Defense & Aerospace Business, August 19, 2009, p. 110,
On Feb. 16, 2007, co-conspirator Philip Bloom was sentenced to 46 months in prison on related charges of conspiracy, bribery and money laundering for his role in the scheme. Bloom was also ordered to forfeit $3.6 million for his role in the bribery and money laundering scheme.