Kuwait's Agility denies US gov't fraud charges

Logistics provider pleads not guilty to charges it defrauded US on multi-billion dollar troops deal
Kuwait's Agility denies US gov't fraud charges
By Bloomberg
Tue 16 Aug 2011 07:50 PM

Agility, the
Kuwaiti storage and logistics provider, pleaded not guilty to charges it
defrauded the US government on a multi-billion dollar contract to feed
troops overseas.

Agility,
also known as Public Warehousing Co, denied on Tuesday in federal court in
Atlanta accusations that it filed false invoices or conspired to pay
premium prices to inflate its profit.

Prosecutors said Agility
encouraged companies it did business with to inflate costs through
practices such as putting hamburgers in unnecessarily expensive
packaging.

The
estimated cost of the US contract with Agility at the time it was
signed was $4.66 billion, according to the November 2009 indictment.

The
final bill came to $8.6 billion, the government said. Agility bought
food and transported it to U.S. soldiers in Kuwait and Iraq, prosecutors
said.

The investigation into the company and its suppliers is continuing, federal prosecutors have said.

Agility officials had no immediate comment on the plea after today’s hearing. Lawyers for both sides declined to comment.

The case
against Agility had been slowed by the company’s claim that it wasn’t
properly notified of the charges it faced in the US. Agility recently
lost a federal appeals court decision on that issue.

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