State Department contract officer charged with taking bribes

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A State Department contracting officer has been charged with taking bribes from a Turkish company that received more than $150 million in contracts under his supervision.

Federal prosecutors in Alexandria announced on Friday a 17-count indictment against Zaldy Sabino of Fort Washington, Maryland, on charges including bribery and wire fraud.

The indictment says Sabino worked at a contracting office in Arlington, Virginia, and oversaw multiple contracts awarded to a Turkish construction firm, including a $142 million deal for a power plant at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

The indictment alleges Sabino received at least $239,000 in cash from the undisclosed Turkish firm’s owner.

Sabino’s lawyer did not return messages Friday seeking comment.

Another State Department employee in that same office received a 15-month prison sentence last year on similar charges.

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