Security firm accused of cheating US

Carol Leonnig, Nick Schwellenbach; 13/2/10

Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide have accused the private security contractor of defrauding the US government for years through phoney billing, including charging taxpayers for parties, spa trips and a prostitute. In court records unsealed this week, a husband and wife who worked for Blackwater said they had firsthand knowledge of the company falsifying invoices, double-billing federal agencies and improperly charging the US government for personal expenses. They said they witnessed ”systematic” fraud in the company’s security contracts with the US State Department in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Louisiana after hurricane Katrina. Blackwater is the US State Department’s largest security contractor, and a State Department spokesman said on Thursday that his agency and the Justice Department reviewed the allegations in 2008, when the lawsuit was filed under seal in federal court in Virginia.

See:; Iraq expels former Blackwater guards; 13/2/10:;