US: Food companies investigated in Iraq fraud probe
A number of prominent US food companies are being investigated in connection with alleged fraud and corruption in supplying the US military in Iraq, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal today (17 Oct).
The companies in question include Sara Lee, ConAgra Foods and Perdue Farms Inc.
The investigations are being conducted by the Department of Justice and the Defense Department and are looking into whether the companies charged excessively high prices to a Kuwait-based company called Public Warehousing Co., which is the military's primary food contractor in the war zone. Public Warehousing generates some US$1bn in providing food for US military staff in Iraq.
The newspaper said that Public Warehousing had denied any wrongdoing. It also added that Sara Lee had acknowledged it had received subpoenas from the Department of Defense and had said it was "cooperating fully" with the investigation.
Meanwhile, a ConAgra spokesperson was reported as saying that it had also received a subpoena but that the company was not a target of the investigation. A Perdue spokesman said it had not received any subpoenas.
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