2 Liberians in $1.9m USAid scam

2010-11-17 11:34

Washington - Two Liberians were convicted on Tuesday of swindling the US Agency for International Development (USAid) out of $1.9m, the justice department announced.

Morris Fahnbulleh, 40, and Joe Bondo, 39, both from Monrovia, were each convicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, four counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud and four false claims counts.

In addition, Fahnbulleh was also convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. And Bondo was also convicted of two counts of witness tampering.

"Rather than help their fellow citizens in need, these defendants sold food intended as aid and pocketed the proceeds," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.

"Their criminal scheme was uncovered, due in large part to the cooperation provided by World Vision, and today they have been held accountable. Fraud involving taxpayer funds, whether in the United States or abroad, will not go unpunished," Breuer said.

Fahnbulleh and Bondo face as many as 20 years in jail each. US District Court Judge Reggie Walton scheduled sentencing for February 03.