US Marine gets 6 years for Iraq contracts fraud

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 8:22 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

WASHINGTON – A US Marine captain was sentenced to six years in federal prison for conspiring with his wife to skim nearly $1.7 million from government contracts in Iraq.

Eric Schmidt, who still serves with the First Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California, pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and filing a false tax return that hid the illicit income from his scheme.

His wife Janet pleaded guilty to a tax offense for failing to report the income she received from her illicit dealings. She faces up to three years behind bars and is due to be sentenced on March 7.

According to court documents, the 40-year-old Marine directed contracts to an Iraqi firm, the Al-Methwad company, during his yearlong deployment to Iraq in 2008.

After Al-Methwad was awarded the contract, Jane Schmidt used funds from the company to purchase fewer or inferior products than those required by the contract and got them delivered to Marines in Iraq.

Her husband would then falsely certify that Al-Methwad had provided the number and type of goods required.

During the sentencing hearing, US District Judge Virginia Phillips noted that in addition to their illicit proceedings from their scheme, the Schmidts caused military personnel to obtain fewer first aid kits and explosive detecting devices.

The couple caused the US Defense Department to lose $1.69 million and the Internal Revenue Services to suffer losses of nearly $460,000. They were ordered to pay full restitution to both agencies.

During the investigation, authorities seized two California properties, two luxury vehicles and about $40,000 in cash from the Schmidts.

“The Schmidts defrauded US taxpayers, cheated the Iraqi people and betrayed the trust placed in them,” said Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. “They will now pay the price for their criminal wrongdoing.”

Chris Hendrickson, special agent in charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service Western Field Office, said the fraud was an example of corruption having a direct impact on the military capabilities of Marines in Iraq.

“Iraqi contractors bought this Marine with cash, gifts, and a cut of their contracts,” he added.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
  • Anonymous

    Wonderful. Yet The Dick walks…

  • Anonymous

    Someone has to be the fall guy. Halliburton does this every day.

  • Anonymous

    Now what is the government going to do to the rest of the rip contractors?

  • Ed Dominguez

    I am sure he was not the only one doing this.

  • Phil E. Drifter
  • Anonymous

    I’d be everything that he and his wifey are Republicanz!

  • samhoustonTX

    That case kinda puts the scams, short deliveries, poor quality run-ins in focus. Crimes at the $1.7 M level will be (limply) prosecuted. No problem for the The Dick.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Excellent start!

    Now.. about that $265 BILLION in fraud from “big companies”.. who’s on their way to prison for THAT?

  • Anonymous

    While the crimes are horrible. There are bigger fish to fry. See Sen. Sanders report.

  • Anonymous

    I thought that this is what you are supposed to do over there, no?

  • Anonymous

    Just goes to show, if you are going to commit fraud, waste, and abuse; you better have the right last name: Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Dimon, that asshat from Blackwater… etc…

  • Anonymous

    Okay they did something illegal and got caught. What about eric prince? His company committed crimes from fraud, to trafficking prostitutes, to war crimes! He changed his company’s name and he moved out of US and was rewarded with more contracts from the US. There are hundreds of people involved in fraud, war crimes etc. in Iraq. Until the government holds the people at the top accountable this is an example of creating a “sacrificial lamb”. It’s all for show.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NXCMSD27V46Y6BR63PWI6VC7UY Les

    You saved me some typing time. This is merely tossing a bone to the blind, ignorant media and to the blind, ignorant US citizen. The real criminals walk free, and might even have a fucking library named after them.

  • arianna issa

    Dis right here is dee problem vith dee Obama administration, da vay day treat da business man. Prosecuted vor making profit? Dat is American vay? Go after businessman family? Go to da jail vor providing needed service to twoops? American vay? Veally? Obama he talka to dee businessmen dee other day, all da smiley face den round up vith socialist police behind der back! American vay? As boy friend alvays says to me all time “When I was jacking cars and setting fires I knew what palms to grease. That’s the American way, you find the guy who will crawl across his dead momma to fuck his dying sister. This guy just didn’t have the business savvy such as someone like myself. Rule number One: Find the guy with a dead momma and a dying sister first”. And he shouldt know dees thingks, he billionaire congressman.

  • John Kessler

    My dear old dad once gave me a good piece of advice. “If you are going to steal, make sure your steal a lot. If you get caught you will get the same punishment if you steal $100.00 or a if you get away with millions so you might as well aim high.”

    It would seem if you can aim high enough the punishment actually gets lighter. And you can afford to pay a good lawyer to get you off. Hell, aim high enough and you can get medals and more chances to steal.

  • John Kessler

    As Thom Hartmann like to say – pallet loads of US cash were shipped to Iraq and simply disappeared. It totaled 363 tons of cash. It was so much that it could be seen from space! So who was held accountable for that?


  • Anonymous

    How many years did Al Capone get for tax evasion?
    Oooh. But he didn’t screw Iraqis…..

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FZTCSW3ROOZH6M567RKPDFVRAY Donald

    Hmm? Runaway fraud on Wall Street too; but, the captains of Wall Street get away with the loot and a broad smile. Perhaps a few million dollars fine and no jail time is the worst for those flimflam guys.
    What’s even worse is that the payola bipartisan congress has done nothing to prevent a recurrence.

  • Anonymous

    The reason why they aren’t going for him is that he’s done alot of dirty work for many govt. agencies (remember the “mercenaries” that where captured in one of the old soviet republics that when it decided to attack russia, russia was waiting and essentially overran them etc. etc.) and continue to do alot of dirty work. This man also has the potential to grey mail people (google that term).

  • Anonymous

    Yup, they created this monster and now everyone else will have to deal with it. Eric prince is slime and has way too much power and control.

  • Anonymous

    The penal system in this country is for the poor and middle class. When the rich get caught being naughty they are sent to rehab or Europe for a vacation!