State Dept. Official Convicted Of Steering Iraq Dairy Contracts To Son

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A former Department of State official is headed to prison for conspiring to steer $2 million in sole-source micro-dairy contracts to his son’s business, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Kenneth Apple faces up to 20 years behind bars after a federal jury in Virginia convicted him Thursday of ensuring the State Department awarded four contracts for creating milk-processing factories in Iraq to Xtreme Global Logistics Solutions (XGLS). Apple’s son, Jonathan Apple, owned 50 percent of the Montana-based company, the DOJ said.

Apple — a State Department agricultural advisor from Oregon in charge of micro-dairy contract oversight in Iraq between January 2009 and March 2011 — told his son in 2010 to apply for the contracts worth $2 million total and helped him file the application using false information, according to court records obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Kenneth Apple conspired to use his official position to pass on non-public information to his son in order to fraudulently award and administer government contracts,” the DOJ said in a news release.

The elder Apple also told an unnamed conspirator to remove his son’s name from XGLS’ website, and lied to federal law enforcement officers who confronted him about the conflict of interest. Apple told investigators he couldn’t remember who owned XGLS. (RELATED: Judge Orders State Dept. Officials Not To Take A Vacation until They Deliver Clinton Docs)

State Department officials saw micro-dairies — small factories that turn milk into cheese and yogurt — as a way to provide food and jobs for Iraqis.

The DOJ did not say whether Apple left the State Department voluntarily in 2011, and did not say whether Jonathan Apple or the unnamed conspirator face any charges in the scheme.

Apple will be sentenced Oct. 14.

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Tags : iraq
Kathryn Watson