House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) today asked the Defense Department to investigate what he says may be thousands of criminal cases involving fraudulent contracting in Iraq.

Waxman's committee received a report in May from Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General for Audit Mary Ugone finding that the U.S. Army had not provided enough documentation for its disbursements in Iraq, Egypt, and Kuwait. The audit centered on concerns of waste, fraud, and abuse related to over $10.7 billion in Army payments.

More than 7,000 of the audited transactions may indicate criminal behavior, Waxman said today in a letter to DoD Inspector General Claude Kicklighter.

In the letter, Waxman officially requested an investigation and asked Kicklighter to make recommendations to DoD and Congress on how to identify, investigate, and prosecute criminal activity in Army contracting in Iraq.