By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A U.S. Army major who pleaded guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes from an Iraqi contractor at a military base in Iraq was sentenced on Wednesday to six months in federal prison, according to federal prosecutors.
Christopher Bradley, 42, of El Paso, Texas, who pleaded guilty to two counts of illegally accepting gratuities, was also ordered to pay restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas.
Federal prosecutors said Bradley was in charge of helping an Iraqi Army unit set up base at the U.S. military post in Mosul, Iraq, in 2008. He was accused of accepting bribes to allow a contractor access to a secure area of the base, and allowing him to circumvent security in the loading and unloading of trucks.
In return, Bradley on two occasions accepted envelopes containing $10,000 from the contractor, prosecutors said.
"The sentence meted out in this case demonstrates the consequences faced by those individuals who abused their official positions in Iraq for the sake of personal financial gains," said Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.
"By providing special treatment to an Iraqi contractor in exchange for multiple bribes, the military officer sentenced today violated the law as well as the trust vested in him by his country."
Bowen said his office is investigating 100 similar allegations arising from wrongdoing in Iraq.
(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan, Andrew Stern and Andrew Hay)