US Embassy sex scandal costs company $7.5 million
That’s the lesson learned this week by a private contract company that was hired to help out in Afghanistan and then accused of soliciting sex.
The Department of Justice says ArmorGroup North America Inc (AGNA) workers not only visited brothels, but engaged in raucous parties and acts of sexual hazing during 2007 and 2008 while guarding the US Embassy. The DoJ alleges that more than three dozen AGNA guards engaged in misconduct over the course of the two years in Kabul.
“The settlement resolves US claims that in 2007 and 2008, AGNA guards violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) by visiting brothels in Kabul, and that AGNA's management knew about the guards' activities,” the DoJ says in a statement.
The Department adds that “Americans deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent wisely and consistent with our values.” As a result, they say, “Our office has targeted government contractors who fail to meet their obligations to the American people.”
Surprisingly, those values invested by the DoJ do not include paying for sex.
AGNA has now paid $7.5 million to resolving the allegations in what turned out to be the priciest prostitute visit ever.
Back in 2008, two former AGNA employees said they were fired from the firm after speaking out on the company’s misrepresentations to the State Department and concern over the safety of the embassy. A year later, photos and videos of wild parties carried out by AGNA staffers emerged. Watchdogs Project On Government Oversight (POGO) said the images showed the crew involved in acts that were occurring “near weekly” and dubbed them “deviant.”
POGO also says the photo shows AGNA staffers hazing and humiliating subordinates.
At the time, one guard told ABC News that not only were the parties being held regularly for at least a year, but that employees were often bribed into participating in sex acts with promises of raises and shift chains.
“They were not gay but they knew what it took to get promoted.”