- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - A man extradited from Iraq on military contract bribery charges has pleaded guilty to three charges in an agreement with federal prosecutors, nearly seven years after he was first arrested in Las Vegas and then fled after cutting off an ankle monitor.

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose in Dayton has scheduled Metin Atilan’s sentencing for July 1. His attorney, Nicholas Gounaris, said Thursday that the two sides agreed to request a sentencing range of 30 to 63 months with a $1 million fine and other conditions.

Atilan was indicted on charges of conspiring to pay bribes and kickbacks to obtain supply contracts associated with U.S. military operations in and around Iraq. He has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit wire fraud count and to two charges related to leaving the country after his arrest. The government dropped two other charges.

Court documents trace the case’s beginnings to May 2006 in Iraq, when Atilan met a U.S. Air Force contracting officer identified in court documents as a confidential informant. When the informant was later based in Dayton, prosecutors say, Atilan offered bribe and kickback payments to secure a contract to supply 353 trailers for U.S. operations in Iraq.

Arrested in Las Vegas, Atilan was released on condition he wear an ankle bracelet, but he cut it off in June 2008 and fled the country, according to court records. A dual Turkish-U.S. citizen, Atilan eventually returned to Iraq and was arrested there July 9, 2013. He was turned over to federal authorities in July 2014, then is accused of assaulting an FBI agent in Jordan while on a plane preparing for departure to the United States.

Besides the wire fraud conspiracy count from the original indictment, Atilan has pleaded guilty to failure to appear and to assault on a federal officer to resolve other pending cases.

Gounaris said Atilan had been “a very successful contractor” with past letters of commendation from U.S. military officials.

U.S. authorities said last year that Atilan’s was the first U.S. extradition from Iraq under a 1936 treaty. He is being held in a county jail in western Ohio.


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