A former Army National Guard major from Chicago has been sentenced to five years in prison after admitting to taking bribes from military defense contractors in Afghanistan, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
Christopher P. West pleaded guilty to eight counts of bribery, conspiracy and fraud in 2009.
The charges stemmed from allegations that West had accepted tens of thousands of dollars from military defense contractors while deployed in Afghanistan. The contractors allegedly paid him to sign off on bogus approvals for supplies that were never delivered to the U.S. military's Bagram Air Base, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Seven other co-conspirators have been sentenced in addition to West. Two of them, Illinois National Guard Lt. Robert Moore - also of Chicago - and Sgt. Patrick W. Boyd, received 15 months and 40 months, respectively, in prison time. Ten more defendants are still awaiting sentencing.
Prosecutors allege West saw his crimes as part of the American dream, discussing with one contractor "the history of America and how it was built on the back of others, ultimately concluding that 'fleecing the government' was the American way," according to the Sun-Times.
Christopher P. West will be spending a fair amount of time in jail for following his version of the American dream, but it's also the American way to provide every criminal defendant with a fair trial. If you have been accused of committing a crime, a public defender will be provided for you or you can contact a Chicago criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. For more information, see our Related Resources section.