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Ex-Army Officer Convicted in Iraq Contract Fraud

A federal jury in Alabama has convicted a former U.S. Army officer and his wife of bribery, fraud and other charges for a scheme that netted them millions of dollars in illegal payments related to contracts in Iraq.

Eddie Pressley and his wife, Eurica, were found guilty on 22 charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. The Justice Department says they accepted $2.8 million in bribes from civilian firms working in Iraq on U.S. Department of Defense contracts between 2004 and 2006.

The Pressleys were arrested as part of an investigation focusing on Camp Arifjan, a U.S. military base in Kuwait. Fourteen other people have either been convicted or admitted their guilt in the scheme.

U.S. officials said the couple hid some of their illicit cash in offshore bank accounts and spent the rest on homes, cars and expensive personal items.

Husband and wife each face up to 75 years in prison and potential fines of more than $5 million ($250,000 for each of the 22 criminal charges). They are to be sentenced in June.

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