Since 2004, the U.S. government has paid Boca Raton-based International Oil Trading Co. $1.4 billion to deliver jet fuel through Jordan to U.S. troops and their allies in Iraq, according to federal contracts.
At least $70 million of the profits appears to have gone to one person:
Gulf Stream resident Harry Sargeant III, former finance chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and fund-raiser for Gov. Charlie Crist and the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain.
If the defense department had been able to hire another bidder, taxpayers could have saved at least $180 million, according to a congressional investigation completed last year.
But it couldn't because Sargeant's company was the only U.S. company authorized by the Jordanian government to ship through Jordan.
Sargeant and his associates established the monopoly through tens of millions of dollars in bribes to corrupt Jordanian officials, according to a lawsuit from a would-be competitor that this month got the go-ahead to continue from a federal judge in West Palm Beach.
The lawsuit and congressional investigation allege a web of international bribery, double-crossing and war profiteering by Sargeant, a GOP money man who last year made news for his entanglement in illegal campaign contributions made by one of his Jordanian business associates.
Case casts light on Crist.