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Old 16 April 2006, 06:51
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Danubia Global

There's been a few comments here about this company being a front or related to CB. I've made them, too. I've been in communication with Fewy_AU who works for this company Fewy has provided info that appears to show DGI in a different light.

I've offered Fewy the chance to provide this info to the board.

I expect everyone to play nice and read what he has to say prior to posting any responses or questions.

Due to PerSec, I don't expect him to provide names. I have the names and can validate them via PM if required.
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Old 16 April 2006, 10:33
Fewy_au Fewy_au is offline
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Im writing this short reply to help alleviate any concerns or enquirys in relation to a supposed connection between Custer Battles and Danubia Global Inc (DGI). I dont wish to sit here and write a 4 page speel on our company. We have proven ourselves out in the field to be a reputable and professional company.

So for the record, DGI has no affliation, association or ties to Custerbattles. Like a lot of companies, DGI hired ex CB employees who had proven themselves and we purchased a lot of the equipment during their withdrawal but that is as far as our associations lies.

For all that dont know what we do, we supply close protection for the government reconstruction effort and we run convoy security out west in the An abar province.

If any one has any question or quiries about the company I would be more than happy to reply. Oh and Im the Operations manager of DGI and not just some SO for all those that were wondering were I fit in.

Last edited by Fewy_au; 16 April 2006 at 13:57.
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Old 17 April 2006, 05:14
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So you hiring or what Fewy??:D
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Old 27 April 2006, 23:03
Fewy_au Fewy_au is offline
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If you wish to be considered for a any jobs that arise then submit to me your CV, I hire when I need to. Thats aside, this thread is for any questions that you may have about us, the company.
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Old 28 April 2006, 02:15
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Your Company

Fewy,

There are a lot of negative comments about your company on the GSI Forum. I do not make judgements or assumptions on what is written and posted on the net. I take it these comments are from Disgruntled employees and contractors.
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Old 28 April 2006, 11:26
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thanks

Fewy
thanks for clearing the air on this matter, good on you.best wishes to you,the company and your employees.
V/R
Chuck
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Old 10 May 2006, 08:47
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Hmmm, odd,

I'm a little late in posting but someone I know (and trust) that was connected with the Middletown RI office informed me differently. If they aren't affiliated now there was a connection more than being described. This person would not of known of the existance of Denubia any other way, other than to have heard it mentioned around the office.
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Old 10 May 2006, 13:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landshark
Hmmm, odd,

I'm a little late in posting but someone I know (and trust) that was connected with the Middletown RI office informed me differently. If they aren't affiliated now there was a connection more than being described. This person would not of known of the existance of Denubia any other way, other than to have heard it mentioned around the office.

This may just be coincidental to the discussion above, but I was recently contacted by one of the lawyers involved in the trial between CB and Baldwin/Isaackson. He was looking for information in regard to a purported relationship between CB and DGI. He may have just been fishing, but an interesting coincidence.

Custer and Battles talked openly about either moving CB, LLC to Romania, or starting a sister company of CB in Romania. They also discussed, openly, hiring Romanians to work in Iraq in the business offices of the various companies (CB, LLC and the logistics services company they had just started). This is, perhaps, another coincidence.

It is also interesting, and perhaps a coincidence, that DGI is listed as a Romanian registered company. I know that Mike Battles traveled to Romania often in the summer and fall of 2003.

CB also employed a Romanian accountant, who arrived in BIAP in the late summer of 2003. “Dom” was very eager to assist CB in business development in Romania.

Old information here, but I found this news article (for what it is worth) from the AP, June 12th, 2005, Banned contractor soliciting Iraq deals, By DEBORAH HASTINGS, AP National Writer, in which it states, “Rob Roy Trumble, the former Custer Battles executive who heads the new companies, is not on the suspension list. It is not a simple thing to track the ownership of two of his businesses, Emergent Business Services and Tarheel Training LLC. They are affiliated with a Romanian company called Danubia Global Inc. Danubia, in turn, is owned by Security Ventures International Ltd., a British Virgin Islands firm, according to Bucharest incorporation records. Trumble cut short an interview with the AP, after saying he had "no idea" who owned Danubia. The web sites of his new companies are linked to Danubia's. Emergent's site says it is Danubia's employment recruiter and lists several contracting jobs open in Iraq.” “Trumble said his new companies "have nothing to do with Custer Battles" - though they share the same office. A Custer Battles e-mail, obtained by the AP, shows the recipient was instructed in January to send future Internet correspondence to Emergent, though the phone number and street address remained the same.” These coincidental relationships may be just that, a coincidence, but perhaps not.

And finally, a senior CB employee at BIAP told me in 2004 that CB had started a Romanian based company.

These items taken alone may mean nothing, and are coincidental without further investigation. Taken together, they add up to a big coincidence.

FWIW & IMHO.
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Old 10 May 2006, 13:18
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Pace,
I'm wondering also. There was a recent article in the WSJ that laid out the connections pretty well They connected a lot of dots and now I have more questions than I first did.

SB
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Old 10 May 2006, 14:34
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Can you provide a link to the WSJ piece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbullet
Pace,
I'm wondering also. There was a recent article in the WSJ that laid out the connections pretty well They connected a lot of dots and now I have more questions than I first did.

SB
SB,
I didn't get a chance to read that piece.
A little help, please?
After it's all said and done, C&B may both, or singly, have a financial relationship (for lack of a more specific term) with DGI (e.g. they may have provided seed money to a Romanian entity for a share of the profits). I can't comment on the Romania laws regarding US citizens owning a business in Romania, someone with more knowledge than I have will have to comment on that aspect.

It would be interesting to see who the registered owners and/or members of the board are for DGI (I'd be almost willing to bet ol' "Dom" is a senior entity, or was at one time or another).
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You folks don’t get it. You think you are free men. LOL. But you are actually the drudge, slave, captive, laborer, serf, servant, worker, chattel, help, menial, peon, retainer, skivvy, thrall, toiler, vassal, workhorse, bondservant, subservient, bond slave, captive, laborer, in a system to ensure the comfort and longevity of the elites. There are only two classes, the elite and everyone else. F*ck you.
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Old 10 May 2006, 15:43
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Probe Tragets Former Navy Official

By YOCHI J. DREAZEN
May 5, 2006;

WASHINGTON -- Federal authorities are investigating whether a senior Navy official tried to steer business to a security company that was later found guilty of defrauding the government on Iraq contracts, according to people familiar with the matter.

The probe of Douglas Combs, who served as a special assistant to then-acting Secretary of the Navy Hansford Johnson in 2003, stems from a series of probes into Custer Battles LLC.

The probe may mark the first time a former high-ranking Pentagon official has been linked to the recent wave of government-contracting scandals.

In March, a federal jury found Custer Battles guilty of using sham companies and fake invoices to bilk the government out of millions of dollars related to its work in Iraq, and ordered it to pay fines and restitution totaling $10 million. It was the first time that an American contractor had been found guilty of fraud in Iraq.

In early 2005, a company run by Mr. Combs and former Navy Secretary Johnson announced that it had purchased the remnants of Custer Battles. Custer Battles continues to operate in Iraq under a different name.

The Combs investigation is in its early stages, and people familiar with the matter say no decisions have been made about whether to seek indictments. The probe was prompted by a sheaf of emails and other documents obtained by federal prosecutors and law-enforcement authorities this spring. The documents, which were reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, appear to show that Mr. Combs tried to help Custer Battles expand its business while he was serving as the special assistant to Mr. Johnson in the Navy Department.

People familiar with the matter say the investigation centers on concerns that Mr. Combs may have used his position in the government to aid Custer Battles. Investigators are also looking at a subsequent occasion when Mr. Combs, after leaving the government, tried to get Custer Battles personnel reinstated after they were barred from receiving government work. The latter effort was unsuccessful.

These people said the probe so far largely focuses on Mr. Combs, not on his former government boss Mr. Johnson -- though both men could face future civil proceedings. In a brief email yesterday, Mr. Combs said he was traveling outside the U.S. and would "be glad to answer" questions when he returned next week. He didn't elaborate. Mr. Johnson, reached at his home, said that he had no dealings with Custer Battles during his time in government and was unaware of any criminal probes into Mr. Combs or their company's interactions with Custer Battles.

The probe signals the escalation of a series of investigations into apparent criminality in the federal contracting process here and abroad. The investigations have already ensnared a sitting Republican congressman, a handful of civilian and military contracting officials in Iraq, and several American contractors in both countries.

At the time of Mr. Combs's stint in the Navy Department, Custer Battles was a fast-growing security company run by Scott Custer and Mike Battles, a pair of businessmen with ties to the Republican Party. Both men were veterans of the elite Army Rangers, and Mr. Battles spent three years as a Central Intelligence Agency operative before running unsuccessfully for Congress as a Republican.

In a Sept. 10, 2003, email included in the materials delivered to the government and reviewed by the Journal, Mr. Battles told Mr. Custer that Mr. Combs had contacted him to offer the men help in expanding their young company. "Doug Combs, now acting undersecretary of the Navy, also called to see if he could 'help us grow' outside of Iraq," he wrote.

In the months that followed, Custer Battles received more than a dozen federal contracts, mainly in Iraq, valued at more than $100 million. It soon faced accusations that it had overcharged the government substantially. In September 2004, the Air Force barred Custer Battles from obtaining new contracts and said it believed the firm had violated contracting rules. The move prevented the firm from winning new business or renewing existing Iraq contracts.

By that time, Mr. Combs, who left the government in late 2003, and Mr. Johnson, who retired from his Navy post the following year, had gone into business together, running a consulting and investment firm called Windmill International Ltd. That company would eventually announce that it owned the remnants of Custer Battles, including its trucks, generators and a wide range of other assets in Iraq.

Mr. Combs had founded Windmill International Ltd. in 1990, according to the company's Web site, before his Navy Department days, and returned there after he left the government. The company, which lists Mr. Combs's house in Amissville, Va., as its business address, describes itself on the corporate Web site as a "U.S. government and financial-services company...with a deep understanding and exposure to top-level U.S. government operations." The firm's Web site features photos of Mr. Combs with Vice President Dick Cheney, former President Bush, and other prominent Republicans.

(Windmill International Ltd. isn't related to Windmill International Inc., a small New Hampshire defense contractor.)

Mr. Combs served as managing director of Windmill International Ltd., with Mr. Johnson, his former boss, serving as chairman. In May 2005, the company sent out a press release announcing that it had "recently acquired a major shareholding" in a little-known company called Danubia Global Inc., which it described as a "global logistics and security provider headquartered in Bucharest which is currently providing security and logistics services in Iraq." The purchase price wasn't disclosed.

Danubia had been registered in early December 2004 in the British Virgin Islands, with $50,000 in authorized capital, according to British Virgin Islands records. Documents show that in 2005 Danubia purchased all the Iraq assets of Custer Battles.

The purchase would mean that Mr. Combs now effectively owned what was left of Custer Battles and was in position to continue profiting from the Iraq contracts that Danubia began receiving in Iraq.

After the purchase announcement, Custer Battles employees in Iraq were told that they now worked for Danubia, and most of Custer Battles' senior management on the ground there took on identical jobs with the new company, documents show.

In June 2005 -- the month after Windmill International Ltd. purchased Danubia -- Mr. Combs emailed Air Force deputy general counsel Steven Shaw to seek a meeting about whether Custer Battles or its main personnel could be reinstated, according to copies of the emails reviewed by the Journal.

In a June 20, 2005 email to Mr. Shaw that copied in Mr. Johnson, Mr. Combs said his goal was "to remove Custer from the suspension list." He praised Messrs. Custer and Battles as men with "stellar records" and "decorated veterans who have served their country admirably." The email noted that executives from "WM/DGI," an apparent nod to Windmill International Ltd.'s ownership of Danubia Global Inc., would make sure to closely supervise any reinstated Custer Battles employees and prevent them from working directly on government contracts.

People familiar with the matter say Mr. Combs and Mr. Johnson subsequently met with Mr. Shaw, but their attempts to persuade him to lift the Custer Battles suspension were unsuccessful.

In an email in late June from Mr. Shaw to Messrs. Combs and Johnson, the Air Force official noted that during their meeting the two men had "asked me to be candid" about the likelihood of reinstating the company or the personnel. "We agreed to meet with you and Mr. Johnson as a courtesy, but with very small expectations that much could be accomplished," Mr. Shaw wrote. "I still feel that way."

Given that the Air Force's decision to bar Custer Battles was unlikely to be reversed, Mr. Shaw concluded the email by noting that "it wouldn't be appropriate to have any further meetings."

An email sent to Mr. Shaw seeking comment wasn't returned.

Mr. Johnson said the meeting was part of Windmill International Ltd.'s due diligence into Custer Battles. He says that at the time of the meeting he had not met either Mr. Custer or Mr. Battles. Mr. Johnson also said that Windmill International Ltd. strongly considered buying Danubia, but never finalized the actual purchase. He said he was unable to explain why Windmill International Ltd. sent out a press release announcing the purchase or why Mr. Combs referred in his emails to a corporate entity called WM/DGI.

The investigation of Mr. Combs is an outgrowth of an earlier civil lawsuit against Custer Battles filed under the Civil War-era False Claims Act, which allows whistleblowers to sue contractors on behalf of the government and keep portions of any jury awards. Lawsuits filed under the act are immediately sealed, which means they can't proceed to trial or even be publicly disclosed until the Bush administration formally decides whether to participate.

The new criminal probe also originated with whistleblowers, according to people familiar with the matter.

The latest Custer Battles-related probe comes amid growing scrutiny into potential criminality related to federal contracts in the U.S. and abroad. Then-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a California Republican, pleaded guilty in November to accepting $2.4 million in homes, yachts and other bribes from defense contractor Mitchell Wade.

In Iraq, meanwhile, federal investigators and prosecutors continue to probe a bid-rigging scheme in the southern city of Hillah. American businessman Philip Bloom and former occupation authority comptroller Robert Stein have both pleaded guilty in the case, and a pair of Army Reserve officers are awaiting trial. Law-enforcement authorities say more arrests in the case are likely.
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Old 10 May 2006, 16:18
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SB,
Thanks.
Interesting. I found this on Google, from about a year ago that links Windmill to DGI.
Coincidences are mounting up it seems.


May 26, 2005
Turkish-American Team Begins Work in Support of NATO Exercise in Romania


BUCHAREST, Romania, /PRNewswire/ -- Turkish-based ShipSup Company
and U.S.-based Windmill International will play leading roles in the upcoming
7.3 million-euro base construction for the ROMEX 05 NATO exercise in Romania.
The companies have been chosen to build and operate the base camp which will
be used by 1600 Romanian and American military forces in the exercise.
The project consists of establishing a "complete life support area" to
support the soldiers in a remote area of Eastern Romania. The soldiers will
train and operate together for four weeks in the newly constructed facility in
the town of Babadag during the exercise. The concept of rapidly building up
military facilities in Central and Eastern Europe is part of the Pentagon's
latest strategy for U.S. presence in Europe.
One of the biggest challenges is the transfer of equipment from the
military base in Mihail Kogalniceanu to the exercise area in Babadag, almost
80 km away, with the final 20 km access road in poor condition. In addition,
the ShipSup-Windmill team is required to provide housing, food, freshwater,
sewage, electricity, telecommunication, and other requirements that include
sport and entertainment areas, an Internet cafe, barbershop and satellite TV
for the camp.
The Romanian Ambassador to Washington, Mr. Sorin Ducaru, commented,
"Romania is proud to host this exercise this summer. It demonstrates an
appreciation for Romania's rising importance on the international stage and
specifically in the peace and stability of this region. Throughout history,
the Black Sea has been an important geographic location both strategically and
economically. We welcome any opportunity to work with the American military
and appreciate the positive impact this exercise will have for Romania, our
readiness, and our continued future as a NATO member."
Mr. Hansford (HT) Johnson, Chairman of Windmill International, former
Acting Secretary of the Navy and a retired 4-star Air Force General, states,
"Windmill is very proud to play a part in this exercise since it allows us as
a veteran-owned company to bridge our U.S. military experience with our 15-
year relationship with Romania. We clearly see this as Romanians supporting
Romanians to host this NATO exercise."
Mr. Tevfik Moran from the ShipSup Group adds, "We are delighted to have
this opportunity to support ROMEX 05 together with Windmill. We have been
operating in the Constanta area of Romania since 1997 and are proud that our
Romanian companies and their employees will play a crucial role in the
preparations, construction, and operation of this life support area. We also
take pride in continuing to support NATO forces through the Black Sea region."
The project was awarded after a comprehensive two-stage bidding process
hosted by the United States Army. The ShipSup Group from Turkey provides
military logistical support in the Black Sea and operates two Romanian
subsidiaries that will provide most of the workers to support the build-out
and operation of the camp. Windmill International Limited, the American
company, has a 15-year presence in Romania and recently acquired a major
shareholding in Danubia Global Inc. (DGI), a global logistics and security
provider headquartered in Bucharest which is currently providing security and
logistics services in Iraq.
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You folks don’t get it. You think you are free men. LOL. But you are actually the drudge, slave, captive, laborer, serf, servant, worker, chattel, help, menial, peon, retainer, skivvy, thrall, toiler, vassal, workhorse, bondservant, subservient, bond slave, captive, laborer, in a system to ensure the comfort and longevity of the elites. There are only two classes, the elite and everyone else. F*ck you.
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Old 10 May 2006, 23:50
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Fascinating.

:)
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Old 20 June 2006, 08:02
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This WSJ dude is hot on CB ass.

Got this, this morn.

PAGE ONE


DOW JONES REPRINTS


This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers, use the Order Reprints tool at the bottom of any article or visit:
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Battlefield Conversion
Employees of Contractor Barred
From Iraq Resurrect Its Business

Key Assets of Custer Battles
Go to New Entity for $1;
A Federal Criminal Probe
Executive: Firms Are Separate
By YOCHI J. DREAZEN
June 20, 2006; Page A1

On Jan. 3, 2005, Jerry Cullen signed an unusual document at the Baghdad headquarters of his employer, Custer Battles LLC, which the U.S. military had accused of fraud and barred from receiving any new Iraq contracts.

The document was a single-page "bill of sale." Attached were several pages detailing assets such as cars, trucks, prefabricated housing and communications gear that Custer Battles was selling. The buyer was a little-known company in Bucharest, Romania, called Danubia Global Inc. The document said Danubia would pay Custer Battles "U.S. One Dollar" upfront, and an unspecified amount of money in the future. The company never gave Custer Battles any additional money, Danubia executives say.


While the U.S. sanctions technically put Custer Battles out of business, it never actually shut down. After paying its dollar, Danubia took on most of Custer Battles's employees, who continued to work out of Custer Battles trailers on the grounds of Baghdad's airport. They were paid, for a time, from Custer Battles bank accounts. Danubia's owner, Richard Levinson, was a former Custer Battles senior executive. After signing the sale document, Mr. Cullen left Custer Battles to work for Danubia as a consultant.

Now, the Custer Battles-Danubia link is the focus of a federal criminal investigation. Law-enforcement authorities are exploring whether Danubia was an artificial entity created to evade the government ban on Custer Battles, according to investigators involved in the probe. They're examining whether Danubia executives defrauded the federal government by obtaining millions of dollars of contracts they weren't entitled to receive.

Mr. Levinson says in a phone interview that Danubia has no continuing ties to Custer Battles or that company's two founders. He stresses that neither he nor any of the employees who went with him were linked to the wrongdoing at their former firm. "I can say simply, honestly, and without reservation that Danubia is not a shell company," he says.

Meanwhile Danubia is wrestling with another controversy. This one stems from an April clash near the Baghdad airport, in which Iraqi police personnel said Danubia security guards fired on them without provocation, killing several officers including a colonel. Danubia denies wrongdoing and says its guards were fired on first. The U.S. military is pursuing a formal investigation -- separate from the one about ties to Custer Battles -- and has barred Danubia from operating in the area.

The Bush administration's effort to rebuild Iraq has been marred by mismanagement and instances of corruption. U.S. audits have found evidence that hundreds of millions of dollars was spent without proper authorization, given to contractors who performed shoddy work, or paid to firms charging unreasonably high prices. The audits have also found cases where corrupt contractors and U.S. and Iraqi government officials stole money.


The U.S. has budgeted $20.9 billion specifically for Iraq reconstruction, not counting money for smaller projects that comes from the military's budget. Mindful of the problems, the White House didn't include any further money for the reconstruction program in its latest budget request, meaning the program is likely to end later this year when its funds run out.

Custer Battles was one of the first American contractors suspended by the government, and it is often held up as a leading example of wrongdoing. In a civil trial earlier this year, a federal jury in Alexandria, Va., found that Custer Battles defrauded the government of $3 million by filing faked invoices. The company has asked U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who presided over the trial, to set aside the verdict.

Custer Battles was founded in late 2002 by two former Army Rangers, Scott Custer and Michael Battles. After the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein, the two men won contracts to guard Baghdad's airport and provide logistical support for the introduction of Iraq's new currency. Soon Custer Battles had hundreds of employees in Iraq.

The American-run Coalition Provisional Authority grew suspicious of bills the firm was submitting and summoned Messrs. Custer and Battles to an October 2003 meeting. The session deteriorated into a shouting match, according to participants. After the meeting, CPA officials discovered the Custer Battles executives had left behind a spreadsheet. It showed the company had spent $4 million fulfilling the currency contract but charged the CPA $10 million.

The government opened a formal probe the following day. It concluded the company had reaped outsized profits by exaggerating costs. In September 2004, the Air Force, which signed contracts on behalf of the CPA, suspended the firm from bidding for new contracts or renewing existing ones. The move effectively put Custer Battles out of business.

Danubia came into existence a short time later.

Financial registration documents from the British Virgin Islands show that the company was incorporated in the city of Tortola on Dec. 7, 2004, with $50,000 in authorized capital. Danubia said it operated out of Bucharest, which lies on a tributary of the Danube River. It listed its corporate parent as a second British Virgin Islands firm called Security Ventures International Ltd. Mr. Levinson, the Danubia owner, says he also owns Security Ventures International. He explains that he created the companies to avoid paying U.S. taxes in the event the firms were later sold and to minimize his liability in American courts if employees were killed or wounded in Iraq.

Series of Setbacks

Mr. Levinson, a 53-year-old lawyer, joined Custer Battles as a contract manager in December 2003 after a series of personal and professional setbacks.

He had worked for a time in the State Department, where he served as a political officer at the American Embassy in Rome. He was also an aide to senior officials including then-Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. He left the State Department in 1998 for the private sector.

Mr. Levinson says his marriage ended in the early 1990s in a divorce that took more than 12 years and $1 million in legal fees to resolve. Toward the end of the battle with his ex-wife, Mr. Levinson was laid off and spent 18 months looking for work. In July 2003, Mr. Levinson and his second wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, citing liabilities of nearly $400,000.

After the demise of Custer Battles, Mr. Levinson says he saw Danubia as a way to ensure a steady income for himself and former colleagues. He says Messrs. Custer and Battles agreed to effectively give him the company's Iraq assets as a reward for past work. "It was a kind of severance package," he says.

The new company quickly got off the ground. Custer Battles's remaining security contractors and support staff were summoned to the small office housing the firm's Baghdad operations center. They were told their positions were being eliminated but they could apply for identical positions with Danubia, Mr. Levinson says. Virtually all of them went to work for the new company, he says.


Several Danubia employees had their salaries paid from Custer Battles bank accounts until at least the end of May, according to bank-account statements.

Mr. Levinson says Danubia was actually paying the salaries but the money was funneled through Custer Battles's accounts to take advantage of the established firm's payroll system. Mr. Cullen, whose responsibilities as a consultant to Danubia are similar to those he had at Custer Battles, didn't reply to emails seeking comment.

David Douglass, a lawyer representing Custer Battles in its bid to get the jury verdict against the company overturned, says Custer Battles and Danubia are separate entities. "Custer Battles sold Danubia some equipment and some of its people went to work for Danubia in Iraq, but you're talking about two completely different companies," he says. Messrs. Douglass and Levinson say Messrs. Custer and Battles have no link to Danubia.

Danubia decided to focus its operations on volatile western Iraq, the scene of near-daily violence, marking a shift from Custer Battles's work around Baghdad. Marines stationed in western Iraq employ logistics companies to deliver supplies, and the logistics firms hire security firms to guard their convoys.

Danubia's business strategy called for undercutting rival security companies. Danubia general manager Amy Clark -- who held a similar position with Custer Battles -- says other companies charged $15,000 per convoy, while Danubia charged just $7,500. "We told people that we were the Target of security, not the Nordstrom's," she says.

The firm won a series of government-related contracts worth $1.28 million per month, according to internal Danubia emails.

Just two months after taking over Custer Battles's assets, Danubia itself sought a buyer, hoping an infusion of cash would help it meet payroll and other obligations. The suitor was Windmill International, a Virginia-based financial-services firm run by Douglas Combs, who had served as a special assistant to acting Secretary of the Navy Hansford Johnson in 2003. On May 26 of last year, Windmill International put out a press release announcing that it had "acquired a major shareholding in Danubia."

The announcement was premature. As Windmill International executives carried out their final due diligence, they grew alarmed about the murky nature of Danubia's ties to Custer Battles. "It began to feel like a shell game," says Christopher Johnson, Windmill International's attorney.

Hoping to salvage the deal, Mr. Levinson met in July with Windmill International's chief operating officer, Peter Majeranowski, in downtown Bucharest. Mr. Majeranowski says in an interview that Mr. Levinson had the demeanor of a "beaten man laying all of his cards out on the table" during the three-hour session, which ended close to midnight.

Mr. Levinson says he told Mr. Majeranowski that Danubia was unable to make its payroll in Iraq or raise money to expand the business because of its perceived ties to Custer Battles. He says he cited the example of a Kurdish security company that claimed Custer Battles owed it several hundred thousand dollars. Mr. Levinson says the Kurdish company was withholding payments it owed Danubia as a way of recovering the disputed funds. He added that Danubia's then-general manager in Iraq resigned after continually being presented with bills that belonged to Custer Battles.

Mr. Majeranowski says he felt sympathetic to Mr. Levinson personally. "He kept saying that he wasn't a wealthy guy and that he needed the job, and I never felt like he was being dishonest," Mr. Majeranowski says.

Still, after the meeting, Mr. Majeranowski told colleagues in an email that Windmill International should "pull out and pull out hard" of the deal, because of potential legal and operational problems posed by Danubia's association with Custer Battles. The company ended the negotiations with Danubia in late August.

A Crisis Hits

Danubia managed to generate enough revenue to keep operating in Iraq. Two months ago, crisis hit. On the morning of April 10, a long convoy of supply trucks guarded by Danubia personnel left the Camp Victory compound near Baghdad's international airport. The convoy was bound for an American military outpost outside Fallujah.

When the convoy approached a bridge in Fallujah, a roadside bomb tore into one of the security vehicles, puncturing its tires, destroying its bulletproof windshield and wounding the head of the Danubia security force and another Danubia guard, according to Danubia reports of the encounter. The vehicles limped into a military compound outside the city to regroup, then made their way to their original destination, a American military outpost on the other side of Fallujah called Taqqadam.

Later that afternoon, as the convoy attempted to return to Baghdad, the vehicles were hit by a trio of roadside bombs. They pushed forward to a small Marine checkpoint, where they took sniper fire from a nearby mosque and machine-gun fire from a passing vehicle full of Iraqi police officers, Danubia said later. The Danubia team suffered four more casualties. A wounded Pakistani truck driver was dragged away by insurgents and several of the gravel trucks were destroyed.

The Danubia team made its way through Fallujah, and linked up with a second Danubia convoy to make the return trip to Baghdad. What happened next is subject to dispute. In an account submitted to the U.S. military, a Danubia security guard said uniformed Iraqi National Guard personnel and men on nearby roofs wearing ski masks fired at the convoy as it tried to enter the Baghdad airport complex. The Danubia personnel returned fire and finally made it back to the Danubia base in Baghdad that evening, thinking the incident over.

It wasn't. The following day, a convoy belonging to a second Western security company was stopped by Iraqi National Guardsmen who said they were looking for a group of security contractors who had killed one of their officers the day before, according to an internal military investigative report compiled in the aftermath of the clashes. The Iraqi personnel later told military investigators Danubia had fired on them without provocation because it mistook them for insurgents, according to U.S. military officials familiar with the investigation. The Iraqis said that Danubia personnel killed three Iraqi officers, including a high-ranking colonel, according to the military investigative documents.

With Iraqi officers killed, possibly by Americans, the U.S. military told Danubia that it was opening a formal probe into Danubia's conduct in Fallujah and suspending the company from operating in western Iraq. Danubia was warned that personnel trying to evade the ban would be arrested by the U.S. military and detained for up to two weeks.

Ms. Clark, the Danubia general manager, says the military has yet to tell her the details of its investigation. Danubia's formal suspension was lifted after about a month, but when Danubia has sought routine clearance to operate convoys in western Iraq the military has refused, she says. Ms. Clark left for the U.S. and is unsure if she will return to Iraq. The company has reduced the number of employees in Iraq to 12 from 70.

But Danubia remains active in the country, providing teams of Western bodyguards to protect American and British engineers charged with repairing and modernizing Iraq's electricity infrastructure in and around Baghdad. Ms. Clark says the company is looking for new work and hoping the military will soon allow it to resume its security work in western Iraq.

Write to Yochi J. Dreazen at yochi.dreazen@wsj.com 1


RAT OUT!!!
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  #15  
Old 20 June 2006, 08:19
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CNN highlighted them over the weekend

I watched a 30 minute CNN program that highlighted Ms. Clark and her operation, over the weekend.
Seems like CNN and the Wall Street Journal are focused on Danubia Global.

Did not CB have another company in Iraq that was called Secure Global Distribution, or something to that effect?
Anyone know if that outfit is still in operation?
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Old 20 June 2006, 19:58
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Roger that, Pace.

SGD.

No idea if they are still viable. A google reveals the following:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...on&btnG=Search
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Old 21 June 2006, 09:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAT
"It began to feel like a shell game,"
This is a perfect discription of the entire scheme
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Old 21 June 2006, 09:17
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SB, Amen to that.
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Old 21 June 2006, 18:42
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Strange, when they sent me a packet it still had Custer Battles name all over it, when I asked they sent me a new one with it changed to DGI. They forget to change all of it, still had CB mentioned in much of the text. I declined, but think I still have copies of what they sent me last year.
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Old 21 July 2006, 15:57
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And the beat goes on....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle Post Intelligencer
Friday, July 21, 2006 · Last updated 10:55 a.m. PT
Ex-Pentagon Officials Accused of Fraud

By DEBORAH HASTINGS
AP NATIONAL WRITER

Two former Pentagon officials, including an acting secretary of the Navy, have been accused of scheming with a banned American contractor to get lucrative rebuilding contracts in Iraq, The Associated Press has learned.

The contracting firm, Custer Battles LLC, was suspended two years ago by the military for submitting millions of dollars in fake invoices.

The charges come in a sealed federal lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by The AP. It was filed by two whistleblowers - one of whom won a $10 million judgment in another suit when a federal jury agreed that Custer Battles had swindled the government.

The current suit names former acting Navy Secretary Hansford T. Johnson, former acting Navy Undersecretary Douglas Combs, and Custer Battles LLC officials including founders Scott Custer and Mike Battles, who were barred in 2004 after billing the government for work that was never done and for padding invoices by much as 100 percent.

Also named were six companies connected to the contracting firm, including Windmill International Ltd., a worldwide contractor run by Combs and Johnson, and a Romanian company, Danubia Global, which purchased Custer Battles in 2005.

The new lawsuit contends Custer and Battles, both Army veterans with Washington political connections, tried to get around the suspension order by plotting with Johnson and Combs "to set up sham companies (thereby) concealing their ownership and control of those entities."



According to the suit filed in Virginia, the shell companies committed other illegal acts, including selling weapons on the Iraqi black market, creating a dangerous possibility that "insurgents could buy them and use them to attack U.S. soldiers."
In both lawsuits, a plaintiff is former Custer Battles associate Robert Isakson. He is also a former FBI agent.

His $10 million judgment, won in March, is the first civil fraud verdict arising from the Iraq war. Isakson and a former associate contended Custer Battles created imaginary offshore companies that overcharged the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq after the 2003 invasion, by as much as $50 million.

Isakson is joined in the current action by Rory Mayberry, a medic who said he was fired last year from a Custer Battles shell company after pointing out fraud. Under the federal False Claims Act, whistleblowers may file suits on behalf of the government and collect a portion of awarded damages.

Phone messages left for Isakson were not returned. His attorney declined comment.

Windmill attorney Chris Johnson said Johnson and Combs had never engaged in any conspiracy, but acknowledged Combs had a business meeting with Custer in 2004.

Phones at Custer Battles offices in Rhode Island and Virginia have been disconnected.

Custer Battles also is under federal criminal investigation for accusations of fraud and two alleged incidents in which its security guards opened fire on Iraqi civilians and soldiers.

The AP reported in June 2005 that former officials of Custer Battles continued to do contracting work in Iraq, despite the U.S. military suspension. Its officials formed new companies to bid on fortune-making contracts. Two of those companies, according to property records, were located in Custer Battles' Rhode Island office.

The head of those two firms - Emergent Business Services and Tar Heel Training - is Rob Roy Trumble, former operating officer for Custer Battles. He is also named as a defendant in the current lawsuit.

The new federal lawsuit also names Emergent, Tar Heel and others as coconspirators in a scheme "to circumvent the suspension order and to defraud the government by getting false or fraudulent claims allowed or paid." It seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

According to the suit, Custer Battles sought to flout the suspension order in two ways:

-It transferred Iraq operations to Danubia Global. "This would be a change in name only, since all Custer Battles Iraq operations managers ... would retain the same responsibilities and perform the same functions," the suit says.

-In the United States, Custer Battles continued recruitment, benefits administration and travel arrangements through Emergent and Tar Heel - the new companies formed at Custer Battles' office.

"Again, this would be change in name only since Custer Battles managers performing these functions, including defendant Trumble, would retain the same responsibilities and perform the same functions," the suit said.

Trumble's office phone has been disconnected.

A Custer Battles e-mail, obtained by the AP in 2005, instructs employees to send all further correspondence to Emergent Business Services.

State records show Windmill International is located at 53 Weathersfield Lane in Amissville, Va., the home of company president Combs. Windmill director Michael Ussery, a former State Department official and former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, listed the same address as Combs, the records show.

Combs served as acting undersecretary in the Navy from 1999 to 2003, and made frequent trips to Iraq during that period and worked with contractors and military advisers there. He also was a special assistant to Johnson, who was acting secretary of the Navy, the service's top civilian position, in 2003.
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