A lawsuit filed by two former employees of Blackwater charges that
the controversial security contractor defrauded the U.S. government,
including charging it for strippers and prostitutes, the New York Times reports.
Perhaps the most explosive charge in the lawsuit -- filed by a
married couple, Brad and Melan Davis, is that the company put a
Filipino prostitute in Afghanistan on its payroll under the "Morale
Welfare Recreation" category, then billed the government for her salary
and plane tickets.
The Davis's allege that Blackwater exercised little oversight of the
billions in government contracts it has won over the last decade.
The lawsuit also claims that Melan Davis, who handled accounts for
Blackwater's contracts with FEMA and the Department of Homeland
Security, approached her supervisors with concerns about the company's
book-keeping. But she was told to "back off," and that she "would never
win a medal for saving the government money."
Davis was ultimately fired by Blackwater, now known as Xe. She claims the firing was illegal.
Xe did not respond to the Times's request for comment.
The lawsuit was filed under the False Claims Act in December 2008.
But the key documents were only made public recently, after the Justice
Department declined to join the case.
The charges are only the latest controversy associated with Blackwater/Xe, which last month saw two of its former contractors charged with murder for the shooting deaths of two Afghan men. Still, the company appears to be expanding its presence in Afghanistan.