Crescent Security Group was a private security firm contracted to guard facilities and resources used and moved about Iraq by the U.S. Government and its allies.
Crescent advertised its ability to supply clients with either all-American support teams, or a mixture of Americans and Iraqis. It also claimed to use the "latest technology" and heavily armored vehicles. The guarantee: "total peace of mind to clients", the motto: "Integrity-Commitment-Success".
While Crescent was marketing its security savvy and experience to clients, company employees saw a very different reality. Former employees say the vehicles they operated did not have the promised armor, and communications technology often did not work. Basics like medical supplies and ammunition were in short supply, and much of the protective gear was deficient. Many employees had little or no experience or training in security work. The company also appears to have routinely violated CPA policy by failing to notify the proper authorities when working in their territory.
But Crescent's most dangerous deficiency was the double standard applied to employees.
American contractors were relatively well paid. But the company paid Iraqis less than ten percent of what the Americans made, and gave them the most dangerous and uncomfortable assignments. Hostility and distrust bred by this discrepancy would lead directly to the abduction and deaths of Joshua Munns, John Young, Jonathan Cote', Paul Reubens and Bert Nussbaum.
Crescent also took the unusual step of taking out life insurance policies on its employees, and naming itself beneficiary. After it became clear the five men were dead, the company used part of those policies to barter with the victims' families for release from liability in their loved ones' deaths. Crescent Security Group then kept the remaining life insurance money.