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

Monday, May 05, 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.



Burglary Suspects Arrested By Chance, Due To Malfunctioning Tag Lights

Hamilton County deputies arrested burglary suspects by chance after pulling over a vehicle because of malfunctioning tag lights on July 25. When deputies walked up to the vehicle, they noticed the rear seat passenger making very sudden movements. They also saw him stuff something into a back pack.  While at the window, deputies noticed a large knife lying out in the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Arrested On Child Rape Charges

A Chattanooga man was taken into custody after he admitted to police that he raped his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. According to police, the young girl was with her grandmother the following day and told her what her father, Michael Skellenger, had done.  Her grandmother immediately rushed her to the hospital for an examination. They were directed to the Children's ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Scottsboro’s Pat Trammell

I got a warm feeling Tuesday when it was announced Pat Trammell will be among those in the inaugural class of the Jackson County (Ala.) Sports Hall of Fame. When the august group is enshrined at Scottsboro’s Goose Pond Civic Center on Nov. 1, most folks won’t even know who Pat Trammell was but I knew all about him in my very first year as a fledgling sports writer back in 1967 and, ... (click for more)

Recap of 17 Stop, Prep Football Tour

Starting at Soddy Daisy at 7:44 a.m. and leaving Silverdale 14 hours later ( 9:58 p.m.), the fifth annual Chattanoogan.com prep football tour made whistle stops at 17 schools covering 220 miles.   The Chattanooga Jamboree is Aug. 15-16 at Finley Stadium and the season openers are Thurs. Aug. 21   - Cleveland vs. McCallie (Finley Stadium) ... (click for more)

NPSL National Championship To Be Played At Red Bulls Arena

The NPSL announced on Monday that the national championship match between Chattanooga FC and the Red Bulls U23 will be played on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  The match will be played following an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution.   Local fans took to social media to appeal for the game to be played in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)