Lieutenant Colonel Who Served in Iraq Pleads Guilty to Criminal Conflict of Interest for Contracting Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 23, 2013|
A retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army who served in Iraq as a contracting officer pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tacoma today to criminal conflict of interest for using his position of authority to benefit himself to the detriment of the United States. Harold L. Broek, 49, who served as chief of contracting at the Tikrit Regional Contracting Center in Tikrit, Iraq, established a company, Global Motion, that received contracts from an Iraqi company to which he had awarded contracts.
Broek is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle on October 15, 2013. Criminal conflict of interest is punishable by up to five years in prison.
According to the records filed in the case, Broek used his position of authority in the U.S. Army, his knowledge of government contracting, and his relationship with Rohit Goel and Avalon International Limited to contract with Goel and Avalon on government contracts. Before Broek left Iraq in 2007, he directed his family in Washington State to form a company, Global Motion, for the purpose of receiving contracts from Goel and Avalon. While in Iraq, Broek had entered into an illegal agreement with Goel whereby Goel would send certain government contracts, awarded by the United States to Goel and Avalon, to the new company formed by Broek and his family. Pursuant to this arrangement, Goel agreed to award government contracts to Broek’s new company, to pay Broek’s new company 30 percent of the profit on such contracts, and to front necessary funds or finance any contract expenditures Broek’s company would incur in purchasing goods to perform under the contracts.
Before leaving Iraq and returning to the United States, Broek participated in awarding contracts to Avalon. Specifically, in July 2007, shortly before he left Iraq to return to Lacey, Washington, Broek signed a waiver shortening the deadline on a contract for the purchase and delivery of line-of-sight radios. By shortening the deadline, Broek decreased the chances that Avalon’s competitors might win the contract. Later in July 2007, one of Broek’s subordinates in Iraq awarded a contract for line-of-sight radios, valued at $162,151, to Goel and Avalon. Goel, in turn, awarded the contract for line-of-sight radios to Broek’s company, Global Motion.
In September 2007, Avalon fronted $99,978 to Global Motion to finance the purchase of the line-of-sight radios. To fill the line-of-sight radio contract, Global Motion spent $58,733 to purchase the radios and have them shipped to Iraq. Global Motion retained the balance of the funds from Avalon, making a profit of $29,871.90 on this deal.
According to tax returns, Global Motion made a profit in 2007 and 2008 of $52,400.16. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Broek will make restitution payments to the United States in the amount of $52,400.16.
The case was investigated by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Recovery, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Reese Jennings.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Thomas Bates, and he can be reached at 206-553-7970 or Thomas.Bates@usdoj.gov.