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 jail booking report from Hamilton County: BRAMLETT, VERNETTA LAURETT  804 LANE ST CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA LIGHT LAW VIOLATION --- BUTLER, TABITHA KAREN  165 VERO BEACH AVE ROSSVILLE, 30741  ... (click for more)

Dalton Police Warn Residents To Secure Vehicles After Rash Of Burglaries

There has been an increase in the number of entering auto cases in Dalton in the past few weeks, and in each case, it appears that the vehicles were left unlocked. Officials with the Dalton Police Department are reminding residents to keep their cars locked even if they’re only making a quick stop. Also, people are advised to never leave valuables in plain view in cars. Between ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The DA’s Cold-Case Quest

It is clearly a job nobody can do for over an hour or two, but Neal Pinkston, working in hand with precise professionals from the county’s auditing department, is intent on doing the right thing. As I watched a revolving team of four people at a time open and study envelopes of autopsy photographs on Tuesday, the scene would have made a fascinating television documentary. But ... (click for more)

Hurricanes Whip McMinn County, 9-1, In 5-3A Baseball

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Three times Jordan Gorman set the table. Nick Woods punched three hits to the outfield and drove Gorman home in the third, fifth and sixth innings, powering East Hamilton to a 9-1 victory over McMinn County in the opening game of the District 5-3A baseball tournament at Cleveland High School on Wednesday. “Our mission was to win this game,” Gorman said, ... (click for more)

District 5-3A Softball Tournament Plans Finalized By Coaches

District 5-3A softball coaches are now ready for the second season. They hope their teams are, too. At a luncheon to finalize plans for the district tournament on Wednesday, the opening pairings were set in stone and play will begin Friday with three games, each starting at 5 p.m. at the highest seeded team. Second-seeded Soddy-Daisy (24-7) will host No. 7 Bradley ... (click for more)