February 19, 2016

News Briefs – February 19, 2016

Alabama Army contractor gets prison for taking kickbacks

An Alabama man once employed by an Army contractor has been sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to taking kickbacks and evading taxes.
Federal prosecutors said 47-year-old Victor Villalobos of Enterprise, Ala., was sentenced Feb. 17 by a judge in the Southern District of Florida.
Authorities say Villalobos took more than $1.9 million in kickbacks between 2009 and 2014 from a subcontractor that did business with his employer, an unnamed company that provided services for the Army at Fort Rucker in Alabama. Prosecutors say Villalobos illegally evaded taxes by not reporting the kickbacks on his tax returns.
Prosecutors say Villalobos demanded the subcontractor pay him to ensure it continued to do business with his employer. AP

Airstrikes hit ‘hundreds millions’ in Islamic State cash

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad says a series of airstrikes have destroyed “hundreds of millions” of dollars in Islamic State cash holdings.
Col. Steve Warren said Feb. 17 that the bombings are part of a larger effort to limit the Islamic State’s ability to finance its military operations. He said the broader campaign, which includes strikes against oil processing and distribution facilities, has forced the group to adjust by reducing salaries for its fighters, among other recent changes.
Warren, speaking for the coalition that is fighting the extremist group in Iraq and Syria, said airstrikes in recent days have targeted what he called IS cash collection areas. AP

Airbus, Boeing announce airplane deals at Singapore show

Airbus and Boeing announced aircraft orders at the Singapore Airshow that indicated a lull in demand for the big manufacturers after the 2014 show hauled in $32 billion of deals.
Airbus announced an order for six A350-900s, valued at $1.8 billion at list prices from Philippine Airlines. Boeing announced a deal for 12 of its 737 jets with a privately-owned Chinese carrier, valued at $1.3 billion.
Boeing and Airbus executives at the show have voiced confidence that air travel in Asia will continue to grow strongly. They said no Asian airlines had deferred orders already placed.
But some industry experts say the slump in oil prices means airlines will keep their older less-fuel efficient aircraft for longer and buy fewer new jets. AP

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Photograph by Peter Merlin

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