24 January 2004

Halliburton tells U.S. of suspected kickbacks

Halliburton Co. workers may have taken kickbacks from a Kuwaiti subcontractor aiding U.S. troops in Iraq, causing a potential $6 million overcharge to U.S. taxpayers, the company said on Friday.

Auditors at the Houston-based company found the questionable payments and potential overbilling and alerted Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Schmitz, said a company spokeswoman, Wendy Hall.

Halliburton, once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, is the largest contractor in Iraq with over $8 billion in potential work doing everything from laundry to repairing damaged oil fields.

If Halliburton now admits the overcharges, what does that do to the weeks of vigorous denials they've issued? Or the Pentagon's waiver of the overcharges?

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