By John Lee.
Two companies, Supreme Foodservice GmbH and Supreme Foodservice FZE, have pleaded guilty to fraud charges and been ordered to pay $288.3 million (336 billion Iraqi dinars) in fines and restitutions.
According to the US Department of Justice, the companies, part of the Supreme Group, supplied food and water to coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and used a local company it controlled, Jamal Ahli Foods Co, to mark up the prices was paying for the products, costing the government an estimated $48 million.
Frederick Morgan, lawyer for the whistleblower Michael Epp, said:
“We believe this is the largest fraud recovery against any contractor relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the largest recovery in a military procurement case initiated by a qui tam whistleblower, and one of the largest fraud recoveries against any defense contractor."
In a statement, Emma Sharma, general counsel for Supreme Group USA, said:
“We accept full responsibility for and deeply regret our past actions. We have implemented new compliance mechanisms and strengthened our internal processes.
We now have some of the most rigorous controls in the industry. We recognise that to re-earn trust, we must always act with integrity.
That’s where our focus is and that’s where our focus will continue to be.”
(Sources: Supply Management, Supreme Group)