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The U.S. Department of Defense has paid about $1 billion to an arms dealer who was once indicted for allegedly bribing foreign officials and has built a $200 million side business selling ammunition directly to Ukraine, the investigation published by the New York Times revealed.
Florida-based military contractor Marc Morales, leads Global Ordnance company which was awarded about $1 billion in contracts from the Pentagon.
According to the investigation, Morales paid a senior sergeant in the Ukrainian army, Volodymyr Koyfman, to arrange meetings in the Ukrainian government for his own contacts shedding light on “a quiet aspect of the Biden administration’s war strategy.”
“They operate in a notoriously shadowy, clubby arms trade, an industry made even more opaque as Ukraine rolled back years of anti corruption rules,” the report reads.
In total, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with more than $40 billion in military assistance, including HIMARS missiles and Patriot air defense systems.
Bryan Van Brunt, the general counsel for Global Ordnance, said the company followed the law and the Ukrainian government was aware of Koyfman's work at Global Ordnance.
At the same time, according to two of Morales's competitors, he has an unfair advantage, not because of his ties to Koyfman, but because of his ties to the Pentagon. In addition, the investigation showed that Morales was far from the only arms dealer with connections in the Ukrainian government.