More trouble for Harry Sargeant
NBC News: A prominent fundraiser for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign is facing a new legal challenge over a lucrative Pentagon contract that involved shipping oil to military forces in Iraq. A competing firm filed a federal suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act this week against the fundraiser, Harry Sargeant III, and his company, International Oil Trading Company. The suit accuses them of a "bribery scheme" to pay officials in the Kingdom of Jordan, in an effort to keep competing firms out. Sargeant and his company deny wrongdoing and say no bribes were paid.
Sargeant is the Finance Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, a key state in the upcoming presidential election. The federal lawsuit is the latest case to bring attention to him. NBC News first reported last May that Sargeant was awarded the Pentagon contract even though he was not the lowest bidder. NBC reported he was being sued in Florida state court by a former business partner who was the brother-in-law of the King of Jordan. More background here. (Photo: Sargeant, center, with Gov. Charlie Crist during a trade mission in 2007.)