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Archive for Saturday, January 24, 2004

Halliburton to repay Pentagon overcharge

Criminal inquiry pending on possible overcharge in separate Iraq contract

January 24, 2004

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— Halliburton will pay the Pentagon $6.3 million for possible overcharges by a subcontractor accused of giving kickbacks to supply U.S. soldiers in Iraq, a spokesman said Friday in new trouble for Vice President Dick Cheney's former company.

"We will bear the cost of the overcharge -- not the federal government," said Wendy Hall.

Halliburton fired the employees involved and notified Defense Department investigators when it discovered one or two workers may have gotten improper payments from the Kuwaiti firm, Hall said. She said the company was paying the $6.3 million to the Army Materiel Command to cover any possible overcharges while the Pentagon investigates.

"We found it quickly, and we immediately reported it," Hall said. "We do not tolerate this kind of behavior by anyone at any level in any Halliburton company."

The Pentagon already has in progress a criminal inquiry into possible overcharging involving another Halliburton contract: the company's deal to supply gasoline to Iraqi civilians. Democrats have criticized the contracts and demanded further investigations; the company has denied wrongdoing.

In the latest investigation, Halliburton auditors found a $6 million overcharge by a Kuwaiti subcontractor in its Army supply contract, Hall said Friday. Part of that money may have been paid as kickbacks to one or two Halliburton workers, she said.

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