Army Engineer Accused of Iraq Contract Bribes

Federal authorities say a U.S. Army engineer took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for funneling Iraq reconstruction contracts to friends, building a $1.1 million mansion with the proceeds.

John Alfy Salama Markus, 38, was arrested at his home on Wednesday and charged in New Jersey with money laundering and conspiracy to commit bribery and to defraud the United States.

If conviceted he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Mr Markus, aka John Salama, was released on a $500,000 bond secured by property, and did not enter a plea.

A project engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, Markus allegedly used his influence to secure contracts worth millions of dollars between 2007 and 2008 for British contractor Ahmed Nouri, who was also charged but is still at large, according to the criminal complaint.

Markus is said to have demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks, which he used to build a palatial home in New Jersey, authorities said.

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