MAJOR "FRAUD" UNCOVERED AS ARMY FIELD
GRADE AND WIFE ARRESTED IN TEXAS - JOHN
COCKERHAM AND "HIGH-MAINTENANCE" MELISSA
HELD WITHOUT BAIL IN HUGE KICKBACK $CHEME
CONTRACTING AND PROCUREMENT OFFICER
WITH US ARMY SOUTH SAID TO HAVE TAKEN
MILLIONS IN BRIBES - RIGGED BOTTLED WATER
CONTRACT IN KUWAIT - $5 MILLION MORE IN
PIPELINE FROM CROOKED DEALS - MONEY
LAUNDERED THROUGH BANKS IN MIDDLE EAST
Dick Cheny's Halliburton isn't the only entity getting rich off the war in Iraq. Army Maj. John Cockerham thought he had a sweet deal going for himself and his "high-maintenance" wife Melissa as long as the bribe and kickback money kept coming in. But the field-grade found out different when cops closed in and arrested them both in Texas.
The 41 year-old contracting and procurement officer for U.S. Army South, headquartered at Ft. Sam Houston, and sexy Melissa are both charged with bribe-taking, money laundering and conspiracy.
The dollar amounts are staggering. According to law enforcement sources, Cockerham became a millionaire ten times over from his crooked deals and anticipated further corrupt scams that would net him at least $5 million more.
Melissa, who loved the high life, is accused of being a "bag-lady"accepting and concealing some of the payoffs, which included sacks and briefcases jam-packed with greenbacks. The major and his pretty partner in crime allegedly moved the money around, depositing the ill-gotten gains in banks in the Middle East and Caribbean.
MilitaryCorruption.com has learned one of the scams involved an $800,000 contract for bottled water. A sleazy operator named Megde "Mike" Ayesh Ismail is said by informed sources to have arranged that lucrative deal, making sure the contract was steered to a Kuwait-based outfit called Green Valley, with beaucoup bucks slipped to the crooked Maj. Cockerham.
DIRTY DEALS AND PLENTY OF "GREENBACKS"
CORRUPT ARMY OFFICER AND WIFE
The big break in the case came when investigators got their hands on a ledger belonging to the major which listed many of the dirty deals.
This story may seem straight out of a Hollywood script, but it's real. According to an unsealed indictment, Cockerham's escapades included meeting Ismail in a Camp Arifjan, Kuwait parking lot, where the corrupt confederate opened a briefcase to give the greedy major a gander at $300,000 in crisp hundred dollar bills.
Who said war is hell? Not for this fat-cat field grade and his scheming spouse. Chances are their days of high-living are all over. Its a long ways from Leavenworth to wherever the Feds will park Mrs Cockerham once their trial is over.
There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon.