Allegedly of course!
It’s bad enough when even the Iraqis are saying GTFO but that’s exactly what’s happened to about 250 ex-Blackwater employees still lingering around Iraq. “I don’t think the Iraqi government is willing to have any Blackwater member, even if they are working in other companies,” government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told CNN in January.”
But it isn’t just the Iraqis with a Blackwater bone to pick – former Blackwater employees allege the security firm hired strippers, prostitutes, and “incompetent personnel” to defraud authorities while working security details in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in post-Katrina Louisiana.
WTF is going on here? If you’re going to rip off the federal government, I guess it’s good to get your money’s worth, especially if you know their internal controls are for shit.
Melan Davis, who was involved in record-keeping, said Blackwater billed the government for prostitution services in Afghanistan from a Filipino female, whose name was on Blackwater’s payroll roster under a category called “Morale Welfare Recreation.”
She said Blackwater billed the woman’s plane tickets and monthly salary to the United States.
The lawsuit also said a vendor being paid for “cleaning services” in Louisiana was providing strippers.
Blackwater spokespeople (the company is now known as Xe, though we won’t pontificate as to why another rebranding might be appropriate at this time) claim Davis must be trippin’. Strippers? Hookers? Fake receipts? No way!
“The allegations are without merit and the company will vigorously defend against this lawsuit. It is noteworthy that the government has declined to intervene in this action,” Xe told CNN.
This is not the first time Blackwater has been accused of defrauding the government; California’s Henry Waxman (D) accused the contractor of running a tax scheme to avoid paying what his staffers estimated as $15.5 million in Social Security and Medicare taxes, $15.8 million federal income tax withholding and $500,000 in unemployment taxes between May 2006 and March 2007.
So? What’s worse? Not paying taxes or expensing “Morale Welfare Recreation” on Uncle Sam’s dime?