FORMER ARMY CAPTAIN GETS TEN YEARS
IN SLAMMER FOR CONTRACT FRAUD IN
AFGHANISTAN - SIDHARTH HANDA TOOK MORE
THAN $300K IN KICKBACKS FROM CROOKED
CONTRACTORS - SPLIT LOOT WITH INTERPRETER
SAYS U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN VIRGINIA

© 2011 MilitaryCorruption.com

Ex-Army CPT Sidharth "Tony" Handa thought he had a good deal going when he was stationed in Afghanistan as contract officer with the Kunar Province Reconstruction Team.

There were plenty of greenbacks floating around, and the junior officer let greed get the best of him. Splitting the proceeds with his Afghan interpreter, the captain solicited kickbacks from local contractors.

Handa collected more than $300,000 from his crooked conduct.

DEFRAUDING THE TAXPAYERS

Borrowing a line from Flip Wilson's THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, Handa's defense attorney tried to gain sympathy for his client by claiming the captain was "enticed" into the illegal activity by his interpreter, who seduced him saying "everybody does this over here."

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the eastern district of Virginia was not amused.

"His (Handa's) actions brought shame to our country, harmed reconstruction efforts, and defrauded American taxpayers," said Asst. U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride.

ONLY ONE IN TEN GET CAUGHT

Instead of making major, Handa will serve the next ten years in federal prison.

While this officer was punished, many more contract officers get away with criminal conduct. "For every one who's caught," a source told MilitaryCorruption.com, "nine others get away with it. So it's lucrative, and well worth the risk to those who try it."

The Independent Commission on Wartime Contracting reports that $60 billion - that's billion, not million - has been stolen or wasted since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began nearly a decade ago.

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