WASHINGTON — A former defense contractor has been extradited from Iraq to the United States to face charges he tried to bribe US officials to secure lucrative government deals, authorities said Monday.
Metin Atilan, 54, a dual US and Turkish citizen, had been indicted in 2008 by a grand jury but he allegedly cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled the country, federal prosecutors said in a statement.
Atilan was tracked down eventually and is the first person to be extradited from Iraq to the United States under a 1936 extradition treaty, officials said.
“Atilan’s return to the United States, after more than six years on the run, sends a clear message to fugitives: No matter where in the world you try to hide, we will find you, and we will prosecute you,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement.
Atilan was due to appear in a federal court in Ohio on Monday.
As chief executive officer of PMA Services of Las Vegas and Kayteks of Adana, Turkey, Atilan is accused of offering bribes and kickbacks between 2006 to 2008 in a bid to secure contracts related to US military operations in Iraq.
Some of the Pentagon officials he allegedly tried to bribe were stationed in Dayton, Ohio.
US authorities have prosecuted numerous cases of fraud and bribery related to contracting work in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past several years, with military personnel and civilian contractors sentenced to prison.