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3 Defense Contractors Charged With Trying to Cheat Pentagon

FILE - The front facade of the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building is seen in Washington.

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday indicted three senior defense contractor executives, accusing them of scheming to cheat the Pentagon out of billions of dollars.

Abu Huda Farouki, his brother Mazen Farouki and Salah Maarouf were charged with major fraud, money laundering and violating sanctions against doing business with Iran. All three pleaded not guilty.

According to the government's case, the Pentagon in 2012 awarded Abu Farouki's company an $8 billion contract to provide food and supplies to U.S. forces in Afghanistan and to build warehouses to store the material.

The indictment alleges the three conspired to submit bids with false estimates of when the warehouses would be finished, took photographs of fake construction sites, and routed trucks and the construction material through Iran instead of more expensive but legal routes, violating U.S. sanctions.

The three defendants have their next court date on Dec. 6.