A former Newton County resident is allegedly part of a $40 million dollar Army fuel scam in Iraq.
A former U.S. Army captain and Department of Defense contractor, Lee William Dubois, was arrested in July when he landed at Washington Dulles International Airport as the mastermind in the fuel conspiracy and is now helping government investigators in a global search for his co-conspirators.
Dubois pleaded guilty to the scam in October and was expected to be sentenced last week, however, that sentencing was postponed.
Prosecutors want the man to receive the maximum prison term partly because he hasn’t handed over his take of close to a half million dollars in profits in the fuel scam.
Dubois earned $450,000 between December 2007 and May 2008 by stealing millions of gallons of jet fuel and nearly 7 million gallons of diesel from the Army then selling it on the Iraqi black market, he admitted in his October guilty plea.
His attorneys argue in court records that Dubois has worked tirelessly to get the money released, but that it is the fault of his Lebanon-based bank moving so slowly that they haven't received the cash.
While the feds wait for that money to be released, Dubois gave them information that led them to the Philippines, where they arrested former Neosho resident Robert John Jeffrey.
Jeffrey is accused of helping escort fuel trucks and was allegedly paid as much as $150,000 for each trip, Dubois told investigators.
The fuel was taken from Camp Liberty in Iraq. When Dubois started the scheme, he was working for Kuwait defense contractor Future Services General Trading.
He obtained that job in July 2007 from Elias Maalouf, who Dubois met while he was approving contracts for the U.S. Army in 2005, Dubois admitted.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Maalouf who, according to court documents, helped Dubois put the scam in motion after hiring him.
Court document allege that Dubois used his extensive knowledge of governmental procedures to create false documents so he and several co-conspirators could enter Camp Liberty and steal the fuel. They say Dubois lied to officials at the base, telling them he was acquiring the fuel for Future Services.
Robert Jeffery was arrested, but released on bail after his mother put up her Neosho home as collateral for his bond.
Although Jeffrey's attorney says he will not enter a plea agreement, Jeffrey and the federal government have agreed that either a plea will be submitted by this Monday (04-28-09) or he will be indicted.