In 2010 and 2011, as Assistant General Counsel to Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), Mr. Peele was responsible for updating IG Bowen on the progress of criminal cases related to Iraq reconstruction efforts, designing new initiatives to detect and prosecute those cases, and suggesting ways in which Congress might further strengthen laws designed to deter waste, fraud, and abuse in contingency operations. He assisted in the creation and oversight of a large-scale investigative program that made use of multiple federal government databases to detect improper payments to military and government contracting personnel. Mr. Peele met with and advised Congressional committees on an informal basis regarding these subjects, and interacted with counsel, agents, and employees of other affected agencies, such as the Department of Defense, Department of State, and USAID.
While at SIGIR, Mr. Peele was simultaneously detailed as a Special Trial Attorney to the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice. The cases he prosecuted were based on violations of federal bribery and gratuity laws, theft of government property, false claims violations, and ancillary wire and mail fraud violations. He managed a docket of prosecutions located in various districts across the United States. Mr. Peele worked closely with many specialized law enforcement groups, including: Army Criminal Investigative Command (Army CID) and its specialized procurement fraud unit (the MPFU), the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). During the course of these prosecutions, Mr. Peele also interacted with various federal government auditing and oversight groups (Defense Logistics Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, Defense Contract Audit Agency, and Defense Contract Management Agency).
Mr. Peele’s convictions include the case of U.S. v. Pfluger, wherein the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the use of Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (“WSLA”), which lifts the statute of limitations for certain frauds against the U.S. Government during times of war. This was the first circuit court opinion affirming the use of the WSLA in over 60 years, and the Supreme Court denied the defendant’s appeal of the Fifth Circuit opinion. The case was featured in SIGIR’s final quarterly report to Congress.