Military contract probe involves food companies

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON – A federal investigation of a military contractor for fraud and corruption in the military’s food-supply operations for the Iraq war has included several food companies, including ConAgra Foods, Inc., Sara Lee Foods Corp. and Perdue Foods, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While not targets of the investigation, two of the three companies, ConAgra Foods and Sara Lee, have been subpoenaed by investigators from the Department of Defense and the Justice Department.

The inquiry is focused on whether the food companies set excessively high prices when they sold their goods to the Army’s primary food contractor for a war zone, a Kuwaiti firm called Public Warehousing Co., and whether the contractor improperly kept refunds it received from suppliers, according to the article.

In a statement, ConAgra Foods said "it has been assured by the Department of Defense that its role in this investigation is limited to that of a witness. ConAgra Foods first received a request for information from the Department of Defense in January 2007 regarding its inquiry into Public Warehousing Company's activities. Since then, ConAgra Foods has cooperated with the Department of Defense's investigation of Public Warehousing Company and provided the relevant records and testimony to the government investigators."

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