Stephen Lowell Seamans, a former Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) Services Inc. manager in Kuwait, pleaded guilty on 10 March to wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money, a US Attorney's office announced on Thursday after unsealing court documents.

On the same day, Federal prosecutors announced charges against the operations director for Tamimi Global Co., the Saudi subcontractor who the government alleges paid off Seamans to award his company the contract.

Mohammad Shabbir Khan, 49, a naturalised US citizen born in Pakistan, is charged with making false statements to federal agents during a meeting in Rock Island on Wednesday, during which he denied making the alleged kickback payments.

Federal prosecutors say Seamans, 44, accepted more than $124,000 from Khan in October 2002 in exchange for the one-year US Army subcontract for Tamimi to run the dining facility at Camp Arifjan, an American base in Kuwait.

US Army Operations Support Command, headquartered in Rock Island, awarded Kellogg, Brown & Root a broad contract in December 2001 to support logistics for US military forces, including the provision of dining facilities for US soldiers in Kuwait.

Cleaning contract

US forces in Kuwait received
logistics support from KBR

Seamans' plea agreement also said he agreed to take a $5,000 kickback from another, unnamed company in Kuwait in exchange for a cleaning contract. According to prosecutors, that company's managing partner later offered to hire Seamans as a consultant at an annual salary of $1.2 million after Seamans left Kellogg, Brown & Root, but the two later ended the deal after an advance payment of $300,000 was made to Seamans' bank account.

Seamans faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count, and fines of $250,000 for the wire fraud charge and $500,000 for the conspiracy to launder money charge. His sentencing is scheduled for 4 August.

A Halliburton spokeswoman on Friday said that Seamans has not worked for Kellogg, Brown & Root since 2003, and that the company had told the US government of its concerns over possible misconduct by Seamans, emphasising Halliburton's intolerance of such behaviour.

A US Attorney said Seamans had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in "rooting out corruption in the military procurement supply chain".

Khan faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on the charge of making false statements to federal agents.