Iraq contractor, an ex-colonel, sentenced for smuggling $50,000

September 18, 2007 00:24

An American contractor who buried secret payments from Iraqi subcontractors in a Baghdad yard was sentenced Monday to five months in prison for trying to smuggle $50,000 into the United States. Robert Grove, 63, was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport in March after customs agents found stacks of $100 bills hidden in his day planner, a carrying case around his neck and his backpack. He had declared just $350 in merchandise on a customs form. Grove, a retired Army colonel, had been questioned about Iraqi kickbacks months earlier by US officials investigating his employer, West Chester-based Weston Solutions Inc., prosecutors said. A company lawyer had accompanied Grove to the interview, and Grove said he knew nothing of any employees on the take, Justice Department lawyer Nathaniel Edmonds said. A second Weston employee charged in a similar case told authorities he had seen Grove taking payments, Edmonds said after the hearing.

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