FEDS "CLOSING IN" ON RETIRED COLONEL
IN LATEST CONTRACT FRAUD CASE IN IRAQ
ANTHONY BELL'S BANK RECORDS SUBPOENAED
AIR FORCE LT COL RON HIRTLE SAID TO BE UNDER
INVESTIGATION - SOURCES SAY DEAD AMERICAN
ARMS DEALER AND CONTRACTOR DALE STOFFEL
PROVIDED INFO ON BOTH OFFICERS PRIOR TO HIS
GUNSHOT DEATH ON ROAD NORTH OF BAGHDAD
"VOICE FROM THE GRAVE" REPORTEDLY TOLD FBI
PAYOFFS IN PIZZA BOXES STUFFED WITH CASH
MADE TO CORRUPT OFFICIALS "ON THE TAKE"
Like a virtual "voice from the grave," a murdered American arms merchant and contractor told the Feds before he was gunned down on a lonely stretch of highway north of Baghdad that several senior American military officers may have been "on the take" in what has become a continuing epidemic of financial fraud in Iraq.
MilitaryCorruption.com has learned that the late Dale Stoffel cut a deal with the FBI to get "limited immunity" from prosecution if he spilled the beans on those he knew that were involved in crooked contractor dealings.
According to investigators, Stoffel fingered Col Anthony Bell, now retired from the Army, but in 2003-2004, head man in charge of "reconstruction contracting" in that war-ravaged Middle Eastern nation. Court records indicate Bell's bank records have been subpoenaed and the Feds are pouring over the numbers to see if they can find any "evidence" to use if charges are brought against the colonel.
Another name that has cropped up in discussions with investigators is Air Force Lt. Col. Ron Hirtle. He was a senior contracting officer and is said to have worked closely with Bell during those critical years after the U.S. armed forces rolled into Iraq and deposed the hated dictator Saddam Hussein.
An Army major, John Cockerham, (see related stories box for other stories on corrupt American officers) is said to have possibly bribed Bell with a huge bonanza of cash, but we want to emphasize, that is only an uproven allegation at this point.
FEMALE ARMY OFFICER TAKING BRIBES COMMITS SUICIDE IN IRAQ
The chance to score millions of dollars and get away with it led to the suicide death - yes, a real suicide, not the usual "cover-up" variety - cost a female officer her life when the Army major was nabbed taking $225,000 in kickbacks "under the table."
The Pentagon tried to keep the self-inflcited gunshot death quiet, but readers of MilitaryCorruption.com (see related stories box below) got the inside scoop months ago.
As for Stoffel, he told probers that large cash payments - "pizza boxes stuffed with cash" - were delivered to those participating in the taxpayer rip-off.
We don't know if Stoffel's ambush after he left a meeting with officers at a nearby military base was a result of his cooperation with investigators or just random violence. But the burst of automatic gunfire that killed Stoffell and his companion, British contractor Joseph Wemple, came at a time when the arms dealer was co-operating with Feds and "blowing the whistle" on alleged crimes high up the American chain-of-command.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Both retired Army Col. Anthony Bell and Air Force Lt. Col. Ron Hirtle, as of press time, have not been charged with any crimes. MilitaryCorruption.com offers both men equal time and space to state their case if they so wish. Readers should keep in mind these men are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.]