Good news in contracting fraud

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


As it turns out, contractors in Iraq who worked for the Coalition Provision Authority (CPA) may not, in fact, be above the law after all. That was the outcome of a Friday ruling against Custer Battles, a private contractor that has been accused of fraud by former employees. Lawyers for the company had claimed that the U.S. had no jurisdiction over the fraud case because the CPA was akin to a sovereign entity. But under that logic, contractors would also have been exempt from Iraqi law, meaning that country would have the legal means to battle contractor corruption.

The ruling sets an important precedent, and aids the Justice Department’s efforts to sue CPA contractors in US courts under anti-war profiteering laws. It’s also an important win for attorneys like Alan Grayson, who is currently representing former Custer Battles employees. But even though the ruling is a positive step towards enforcing accountability among contractors, another lawyer, Victor Kubli “the [Justice Department’s] brief raises the ‘pregnant question’ of why U.S. officials originally said CPA contracts were not covered by the U.S. anti-fraud law.” Why, indeed.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate