Slidell man arrested, linked to kickbacks in Afghanistan - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Slidell man arrested, linked to kickbacks in Afghanistan

Mark McCabe (File) Mark McCabe (File)
New Orleans, La. -

Mark McCabe had been in detention on a kidnapping charge in South Sudan until his release last month. Now, he faces legal troubles from his work in yet another country.

Federal authorities have arrested the 53-year-old former construction company VP on one charge of receiving illegal kickbacks and one count of wire fraud.  The charges are linked to his employment in Afghanistan in 2009.

The U.S. Justice Department posted this press release on its web site Thursday:

The former vice president of a construction company doing work in Afghanistan was arrested today on allegations of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gratuities from subcontractors during his employment in Afghanistan, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana and unsealed today charges Elton Maurice "Mark" McCabe III, 53, of Slidell, La., with one count of receiving illegal kickbacks and one count of wire fraud.

According to court documents, McCabe worked for a construction company that received subcontracts from prime contractors to the U.S. government for reconstruction efforts in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In mid- to late-2009, McCabe allegedly solicited and accepted cash payments and a wire transfer of approximately $53,000 to his wife's bank account from subcontractors in exchange for awarding subcontracts in connection with U.S. reconstruction projects in Kandahar.

Additionally, in approximately late-2009, McCabe allegedly accepted cash payments and arranged for a contractor's consultant to wire $20,000 to McCabe's wife's bank account in exchange for construction material that belonged to McCabe's company and that McCabe did not have the authority to sell for his personal benefit.

According to court documents, McCabe used the kickbacks he received from subcontractors to pay for personal family expenses.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Daniel Butler of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section, on detail from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The case is being investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, SIGAR, FBI, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Air Force Office of Special Investigations and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

McCabe, a father of three, left home for a job in South Sudan over the summer, and was arrested by that east African nation's security service in October for allegedly kidnapping an Indian businessman.

McCabe's wife Anne and U.S. Senator David Vitter of Louisiana lobbied to bring the Slidell man home while denying McCabe had anything to do with a kidnapping.  South Sudanese authorities dropped the charges in late November, and he was allowed to return home.

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