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Company charged in fuel contracts case

A company based in the Isle of Man has been charged with conspiring to steal information about fuel supply contracts to the American Department of Defense.

The US Justice Department says Aerocontrol Ltd has been indicted over the plot, affecting the department’s worldwide aircraft fleet.

Three individuals, Christopher Cartwright, Paul Wilkinson and Matthew Bittenbender face the charges along with Far East Russia Aircraft Services and Aerocontrol

The indictment claims all were involved in attempts to defraud the United States, commit wire fraud and steal trade secrets.

Court documents say Bittenbender shared his company’s confidential bid information in return for a cut of the profits if Far East and Aerocontrol won contracts.

He is said to have passed information about his bids made to supply bases in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan.

The incidents are alleged to have taken place throughout 2005 via emails and spreadsheets.

If convicted, Bittenbender, Cartwright and Wilkinson face up to 35 years in jail and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

(Picture: Bagram Airbase near Kabul).

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