A former top CIA official has admitted to engaging in a years-long scheme to bilk millions in taxpayer dollars through phony classified contracts, according to the U.S. attorneys prosecuting the case.
In a guilty plea announced Monday, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, 53, admitted to directing lucrative contracts to companies controlled by his longtime friend, Brent Wilkes, who kept a standing offer of employment to Foggo upon his retirement from the agency. He pled guilty to a single felony count of wire fraud; he had faced over two dozen charges, including mail fraud, conspiracy, and false statements.
Foggo, a 23-year CIA veteran, rose to the position of executive director at the agency. He was appointed to that spot, the CIA's third-most-senior position, in 2004. He resigned in May 2006, when federal agents raided his home and office. Foggo faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, according to a press release from federal prosecutors.
"Mr. Foggo made the difficult decision to bring this to a close, in the best interests of his family and in order to get on with the rest of his life," said Foggo's attorney, Mark MacDougall.
The count to which Foggo pled guilty related to a contract to provide bottled water to CIA personnel in Iraq. According to the indictment against Foggo, he ensured the deal would go to Wilkes, even though Wilkes had no experience with either bottled water or supplying personnel in war zones, and was charging more than competing bidders.
The CIA began an internal investigation after allegations were first made against Foggo, but officials initially sought to dismiss the allegations as "frivilous" and "from the blogosphere." Foggo had been put into the number three position at the agency by CIA director Porter Goss, elevating him over many other candidates. Foggo's legal troubles added to the pressure that would later force Goss to resign.