Contractor sentenced in military bribery case

UPDATE@4:30 p.m. (July 1):

A man extradited from Iraq in a military contract bribery case has been sentenced in Ohio to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Metin Atilan (MEH’-tin AT’-il-ahn) also was fined $1 million and given five years’ probation.

He pleaded guilty to three counts earlier this year. Under a plea agreement, he could have received more than five years in prison on charges including conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The dual U.S.-Turkish citizen originally was accused of conspiring to pay bribes and kickbacks to get supply contracts associated with U.S. military operations in and around Iraq.

He was arrested in 2008 in Las Vegas. Prosecutors say he cut off an electronic monitoring bracelet and fled to Turkey. He later was arrested in Iraq.

— The Associated Press

First take (March 26):

A former government contractor accused of bribing Dayton-based federal contracting officers in exchange for millions of dollars in contracts pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon.

As part of his plea deal, Metin Atilan, 56, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, assault of a federal officer and failure to appear during pretrial. He was in a good mood as he appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose in shackles.

When Rose told him it may take a while to go over details of the plea agreement, Atilan smiled and said, “It’s okay. I have plenty of time.”

He faces up to six years in prison and could be fined up to $1 million.

Atilan is a former Las Vegas-based U.S. Department of Defense contractor. He was first arrested in 2008 after he was accused of attempting to bribe U.S. officials to obtain government contracts while he was president and chief executive officer of PMA Services, Ltd. of Las Vegas and Kayteks Ltd. of Adna, Turkey. PMA’s website states that it has done business with the U.S. government since 1983, and has been in Iraq since 2003 with contracts for trash pickup, laundry, heavy-equipment rental and custodial services.

Court documents show an undercover agent posing as a contracting officer met with Atilan in a London hotel and offered him a $10 million contract to deliver 353 residential trailers to troops in Iraq. In return, Atilan promised the agent a $1 million kickback. Through intermediaries, Atilan delivered $30,000 to the agent. He also sent money to an undercover agent in Dayton and wrote in an email, “I want the biggest contract on earth :-), lots of $$$$ value,” according to court documents.

A Dayton federal grand jury indicted Atilan on June 10, 2008 on charges of conspiracy to engage in contract fraud, conspiracy to engage in wire fraud, and wire fraud. A magistrate judge ruled to place Atilan on electronic monitoring instead of putting him in prison at the time. However, Atilan cut the monitor off of his wrist and escaped.

He traveled from Nevada to Mexico, then to Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and his native Turkey with a fake passport, according to court documents. He also traveled to Lebanon and Iraq, where he was arrested and returned to the United States last year.

It was the first time since the signing of the 1936 treaty that an individual was extradited from Iraq to the United States, according to U.S. attorney Dwight Keller.

Atilan will be sentenced on July 1 for his latest conviction.

Reporter Mark Gokavi contributed to this report.

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