NEW ORLEANS -- The man who recently returned to Slidell from imprisonment in South Sudan has been arrested for allegedly receiving illegal kickbacks in Afghanistan, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday evening.
Mark McCabe, 53, faces one count of wire fraud and one count of receiving illegal kickbacks. He's been released on his own recognisance and is currently at home.
Court documents say McCabe was working for a construction company that "received subcontracts from prime contractors to the U.S. government for reconstruction efforts" in Afghanistan. The documents allege that in 2009, McCabe solicited and took cash payments and made a $53,000 to his wife's bank account. He would then award subcontracts in Kandahar, Afghanistan for U.S. reconstruction projects.
The documents go on to say that McCabe allegedly took $20,000 in cash payments wired to his wife's bank account in exchange for construction materials. The U.S. Attorney's Office said McCabe didn't "have the authority to sell for his personal benefit."
The feds say McCabe used the money received in the alleged kickbacks to pay for personal family expenses.
The McCabe family denied the allegations and issued the following statement:
"That was not a kickback, it was six months of pay owed and we paid taxes on the money. It’s unbelievable that this has been happening since 2009 and all of a sudden when he comes back from this ordeal, he’s attacked with false accusations."
McCabe returned to Slidell Monday afternoon after Sen. David Vitter began a campaign to get McCabe back home by threatening foreign aid to South Sudan.
"I started shaking like I am now," McCabe said Monday. "I love the United States of America. I love my state. I don't know Mr. Vitter but I'm going to shake his hand when I meet him. I heard he fought hard for me and my family."