Chattanooga Landscaper Charged In Case Involving Bribery Of Public Official, Money Laundering Through Afghanistan

Monday, May 5, 2014

The owner of a Chattanooga landscaping firm has been charged in a case that federal officials say involves bribery of a public official and laundering of money in Afghanistan.

An information filed against James C. Pittman at Chattanooga Federal Court says others involved include a man he was stationed with at Fort Campbell, Ky., and that man's father, who lives at Horn Lake, Miss.

The other two men are referred to in the information as Co-conspirator #1 and Co-conspirator #2.

Authorities said the bank account for the landscaping business was in Chattanooga.

The information says Co-conspirator #1 was an active duty member of the United States Army serving in Afghanistan.

It says from around October 2008 to about January 2010, the conspiracy involved bribery of a public official and the transfer of large funds from Afghanistan to Chattanooga.

The information says Co-conspirator #1, while working in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, "would wrongfully obtain large amounts of cash, from contractors seeking to do business with the U.S. Army, and in return for his official acts with the U.S. Army."

It says on numerous occasions, Co-conspirator #1 would ship containers with cash from Afghanistan to Pittman - approximately $70,000 - with the understanding between the two that Pittman would pass the cash through his landscaping business and return most of it to Co-conspirator # 1 in the form of "salary" checks from the company bank account.

The information says the father would provide Pittman approximately $20,000 he received in cash shipped from Afghanistan for Pittman to also pass through his landscaping business and return most of it to Co-conspirator #2 in the form of "salary" checks from the company bank account.

The U.S. is seeking forfeiture of the funds allegedly taken and money laundered.



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest booking report from Hamilton County: AUSTIN, RYAN BISHOP  121 ALBANY STEET CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge FUGITIVE (ARREST FOR CRIME IN WALKER CO, GA) --- BAKER, DONALD SCOTT  2012 LAURA STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ... (click for more)

Just 4,380 Have Voted In The City Election After 9 Days Of Early Voting

Just 4,380 Chattanooga voters have cast ballots after nine days of early voting leading up to the March 7 city election. One day just 48 people showed up at the Northgate voting site. Only 88 went to the most popular early voting site - the election office off Amnicola Highway the same day. The high turnout thus far has been 199 at the election office on Tuesday. The ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Trump's Latest Delight

I was quite amused this week when Donald Trump’s administration “locked out” several news organizations from the daily press briefings at the White House. The reason I loved it because in the 50 years I have spent in the news business, I have been locked out of press conferences, too. To be truthful, I am a longtime veteran of a bunch of “you versus me” squabbles and, if I do say, ... (click for more)

McCallie Advances To D-II Final Four With 67-48 Win

The third time wasn’t the charm for the Pope John Paul II Knights. Playing at McCallie in the quarterfinal round of the Division II state basketball tournament Saturday night, the Knights played better than they had the previous two times they met, but the result was the same as McCallie advanced to the Final Four with a 67-48 victory. McCallie, snipping a three-game losing ... (click for more)

'Canes Roll Past Stone Memorial 62-38 In Region 3-3A Action

East Hamilton was able to shake off a devastating 30-point loss to Cleveland in the District 5-3A championship game earlier in the week and Stone Memorial was victimized by the Hurricanes’ big bounce-back. East Hamilton held the visitors scoreless in the first quarter and went on to shellack the Panthers 62-38 in a history-making victory on its home court Saturday night. ... (click for more)