Abuzuike O. Ukabam: Humble Officer Bilked Army Through Overpayments in Iraq, Feds Say

The feds have arrested a former Army officer from Humble who they say inflated invoices from contractors in Iraq and pocketed the difference.

Abuzuike O. Ukabam, 34, was an artillery officer in Iraq in 2006 and was also "a pay agent with responsibilities to receive receipts and invoices from Iraqi contractors who worked at the Forward Operating Base Justice," prosecutors said.

He had a scheme, they say:

Ukabam allegedly changed or caused to be changed certain invoices by increasing the total amount due for the invoice. The indictment alleges he then paid the contractor the original invoice amount and kept the difference in cash.

In about a year he had amassed $110,000, the indictment alleges.

He's been charged with wire fraud, theft of government property, money laundering and false statements and could be looking at serious time:

If convicted of wire fraud, Ukabam faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the two counts charged. He is also charged with three counts of theft of government property for which he faces up to 10 years for each conviction.

The two counts of money laundering carry a possible sentence of 10 years on each, while he also faces up to five years for each of two possible convictions of making false statements. The fine for each count, upon conviction, is up to $250,000.

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