Military contractor charged with fraud on Africa contracts

National

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A U.S. military contractor has been indicted in California for allegedly faking quality control on construction projects in Africa that were so badly done some buildings collapsed, including an aircraft hangar, authorities said Tuesday.

Micheline Pollock was named in a 98-count indictment by a federal grand jury in San Diego, the U.S. attorney’s office for Southern California said in a statement.

Pollock was chief executive officer of Dover Vantage, which between 2011 and 2018 won contracts from the Army Corps of Engineers and Navy Facilities Engineering Command for military and humanitarian projects in Africa. They included a maternity ward and a school for the deaf in Togo.

Pollock and others in the company allegedly submitted fraudulent quality-control plans that included résumés of fictitious employees; certified quality control work that was never performed; faked concrete strength test results; and made claims for construction that was never performed or didn’t meet requirements.

“Many of the structures constructed by Dover Vantage were so poorly constructed that they collapsed, including the aircraft hangar in Niger and a training facility in Senegal,” the U.S. attorney’s office statement said. “Most of the other structures constructed by Dover Vantage are now unusable.”

The military has had to reissue contracts, repair damaged buildings and reduce operating capacity, the statement said.

Pollock was arrested on Sep. 22 in Tbilisi, Georgia and remains in custody in that country while awaiting extradition, authorities said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

The case is the first involving the Africa Strike Force, an anti-corruption initiative based in Southern California, the U.S. attorney’s office statement said.

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