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Ex-Army officer admits taking bribes for Iraq contracts

  • Story Highlights
  • Former U.S. Army colonel pleads guilty to bribery and conspiracy
  • Levonda Selph admits accepting cash, vacation from contractor
  • Prosecutors: In exchange for gifts, Selph steered contracts to firm
  • Contracts let company operate Defense Department warehouses in Iraq
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From Terry Frieden
CNN Justice Department Producer
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A retired U.S. Army colonel pleaded guilty Tuesday to awarding contracts in Iraq to a Kuwait-based firm in exchange for gifts.

Levonda Selph of Virginia admitted accepting $4,000 in cash and a $5,000 vacation to Thailand from the unidentified contractor, which was awarded $12 million in contracts to operate Defense Department warehouses in Iraq.

She pleaded guilty to charges of bribery and conspiracy. She was secretly indicted on those charges in October; the charges weren't disclosed until her court appearance Tuesday.

Under terms of a plea agreement, Selph could receive up to 33 months in jail. She promised to repay the government $9,000 and to cooperate in an ongoing investigation.

Prosecutors said Selph was a lieutenant colonel at Camp Victory in Iraq in 2004 and 2005 when she led a committee that awarded the warehouse contracts.

The Justice Department said she will be free until her sentencing October 14 but will not be allowed to leave the country.

All About IraqU.S. Department of DefenseIraq WarU.S. Department of Justice

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