War Profiteer Walks With Barely A Slap On The Wrist
March 27, 2008
When you’re clearing $1 million a day in illegal war profits, I suppose it’s easy to surrender last February’s take in exchange for freedom.
On Wednesday, a federal judge officially accepted a $28 million plea deal in the case of Christopher J. Alf, CEO of National Air Cargo, who stood accused of overcharging the government for distribution of military supplies and falsifying documents to make it appear as though he’d done a better job at it than the facts bore out. Late deliveries were simply marked as arriving on time when it came time to issue the bill. Federal investigators say Alf’s company was paid more than $13.8 million by the government over a three-year period through false documentation alone.
How does someone land such a cherry gig? How do you keep it for so long without anyone noticing? And, Alf’s Dream Team of high-priced attorneys aside, how does one walk away without a day of jail time or even a charge leveled against a single NAC employee, the ability to plead guilty as a corporate entity as opposed to an individual, and nothing stopping you from doing business with the government again as much as you like?
It takes money to make money. Obvi.
Over the years, Alf and his wife have given over $140,000 to various political campaigns, in both parties, in WNY and Washington and around the country.
Here’s a partial list of the recipients of the Alfs’ generosity:
George W. Bush. Whatever.
Hillary Clinton, who sort of gave some of it back.
Senator Alfonse D’Amato.
Together for Our Majority (TOM-PAC), the grubby, rhino-skin purse of Rep. Tom Reynolds.
Henry F. Wojtaszek, chairman of the Niagara County Republican Committee. Not a federal official, but a major player in WNY politics with ties to Washington and a friendly ear. Might not tie to anything involving NAC’s military cargo contracts, but fuck ‘em. Could have gotten him out of a parking ticket or a zoning ordinance or two, and that’s more pull than I’ve got.
Jim Ross Lightfoot, former Republican congressman from Iowa. I honestly don’t understand this one, except that he worked on a lot of transportation issue while in Congress, which might have helped Alf’s cargo business. Or it could have been a sort of secondary caucus-minded favor for one of the Bush campaigns. (Any ideas?)
Bill Paxon, former congressman from New York, preceded by Jack Kemp and succeeded by Reynolds. Major Bush 2000 advisor and chairman of the Bush-Cheney transition team.
Bob Stump, former Arizona congressman and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee until 2003.
Bill Zeliff, another odd duck. Former DuPont sales and marketing manager, owns a bar in Jackson, NH. Held a congressional seat for three terms, then went on to lose in a gubernatorial primary. Government operations, small business, and public works and transportation committees while in the House, as well as a stint as deputy whip. Currently a lobbyist for The Livingston Group, LLC.
John J. LaFalce, another WNY congressman. Chairman of the Small Business Committee. Retired in 2002 after congressional redistricting gave his turf to Louise Slaughter’s earmuff-shaped 28th district.
Patrick J. Kennedy, congressman from Rhodes Island, Ted Kennedy’s son, Appropriations Committee.
Black Eyes!!!!!! Feathers in My Cap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyways, that should get you started on research for tomorrow’s DailyKos post. I leave you with the wonderful snark of Rod Watson.