US: Defense contractor guilty in US lawmaker corruption scandal

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A former defense contractor was convicted by a San Diego court on Monday of bribing a jailed US lawmaker with 700,000 dollars in cash, gifts and prostitutes.

Brent Wilkes was found guilty of 13 charges of bribing former congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham, who was sentenced to eight years and four months in March last year after pleading guilty to accepting kickbacks.

Wilkes, 53, faces up to 20 years in prison following his conviction.

Federal prosecutors accused Wilkes, the chief of firm ADCS Inc., of bribing former representative Cunningham in exchange for the Californian Republican politician's help in winning lucrative government defense contracts.

Cunningham, who was a member of the powerful House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, admitted pocketing 2.4 million dollars in bribes.

The Justice Department accused Wilkes of showering Cunningham with "cash, checks, meals, limousine service, corporate jet travel, lodging, furnishings, boats, prostitution services, vacations and entertainment."

In return, Cunningham used his public office to influence the awarding of more than 100 million dollars' worth of defense contracts to Wilkes.

AMP Section Name:War & Disaster Profiteering
  • 106 Money & Politics