WASHINGTON — Halliburton Co. executives ordered a big-screen television and 10 large tubs of tacos, chicken wings and cheese sticks delivered to Iraq for last year's Super Bowl, then billed U.S. taxpayers for their party, according to a lawsuit unsealed Friday.
The Houston-based company also defrauded the government by double- and triple-billing for Internet, food and gym services for soldiers, according to the lawsuit by a former employee for KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary that runs dining halls for troops in Iraq.
"The administration is not enforcing the laws against fraud when it comes to contractors in Iraq," said Alan Grayson, the attorney who filed the suit. "When it comes to seeing that the law is executed, the Bush administration is a no-show."
Halliburton denied the allegations, filed under the False Claims Act. Designed to prevent war profiteering, such lawsuits allow citizens to sue on behalf of the government and recover a portion of any damages.
The company did not deny ordering the TV and the food; it set up snack buffets and screenings at military bases throughout Iraq for the 2005 Super Bowl. But KBR noted that its contract allowed the firm to provide recreation and morale-boosting services for its employees and for American soldiers.