The security firm, known before as Blackwater which did work for our government in Iraq and Afghanistan, overbilled the federal government and submitted phony reimbursements and expenses, a lawyer for the whistleblowers said in opening statements in the trial which began yesterday. The lawyer for the company, now known as Xe Services denied the charge. The whistleblowers, ex-employees Brad and Melan Davis say the company submitted massive fradulent bills to the State Department on its $1 billion contract for security work in the two nations. Court papers say the overbilling exceeded $123 million in labor and travel expenses. The case is one of many concerning private contractors working for our government in Iraq and Afghanistan accused of false and inflated bills for work done there. Last month a security company paid $25 million to settle a false claims act case for mis-billing the government for security services in Afghanistan when is was shown that the employees were not trained, often drunk and having sex with prostitutes when they were supposed to be guarding our embassy there. The controversal use of private contractors to take over the function of our military in foreign nations has not been adequately examined in light of the cost to the American taxpayers. Oversight appears to be lax, especially in light of strict regulations existing concerning billing of services to the American military. If you are aware of a case of fraud on the part of a private contractor rendering services to our government, call Jeffrey A. Newman, a former criminal prosecutor at 617-823-3217.