Former executive sues contractor over irregularities at Kabul Embassy

James Gordon, previously the director of operations with ArmorGroup North America (AGNA), has sued the company in a whistleblower lawsuit. Filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., the complaint alleges that AGNA violated the False Claims Act by unlawfully retaliating against Gordon for reporting numerous incidents of wrongdoing at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

AGNA is under contract with the U.S. Government to provide security services at the U.S. Naval base in Bahrain and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Gordon first worked for AGNA in Baghdad, was promoted several times and eventually given responsibility for overseeing the Kabul Embassy contract.

According to Gordon, the Embassy’s guard force was routinely understaffed and an atmosphere of “complete lawlessness” permeated the Embassy’s security operations. On one occasion, the AGNA worker who was tasked with maintaining all weapons at the Embassy “had to be forcibly removed from a brothel in Kabul during work hours.” The worker’s conduct was in violation of a U.S. law that prohibits government contractors from hiring prostitutes for sex while working on the contract. The law is aimed at preventing exploitation of people like the young Chinese girls who have been forced into prostitution in Kabul, explained Gordon. But when Gordon ordered termination of the worker, he countered that he could not be fired for the behavior because his boss, the AGNA medic and program manager, prowled the brothels with him. When Gordon sought to conduct his own investigation of the Embassy, AGNA’s operation in London insisted on performing the investigation instead, in violation of a U.S. law that prohibits foreign companies from supervising or influencing activities performed under a classified government contract.

As Gordon continued his protests and reports to the U.S. State Department, Gordon alleges, AGNA made the decision to make Gordon’s job so intolerable that he would quit, in an effort to escape liability for firing him wrongfully.

For the full story, go to the Corporate Crime Reporter.

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