Contractor With Ties To Murtha Charged By Feds

"A former executive for a Pennsylvania defense firm with close ties to Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) has been charged with taking bribes from a partner defense company and appears to be cooperating in a federal investigation of Pentagon contracting."

That's the top of a story by our Post colleague Carol Leonnig, who has been closely following a rolling federal investigation of contractors with ties to Murtha.

The case appears to be gaining momentum. It continues to fuel questions about the role that Murtha -- chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on military spending -- played in arranging contracts, congressional earmarks and the like for favored companies.

More from Leonnig's story:

"Richard Ianieri, the former president of Coherent Systems International, is accused of taking bribes from officials at a firm the company hired as a contractor. The charges, filed late Monday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Pittsburgh, came in the form of a filing that typically indicates that the defendant plans to plead guilty and cooperate with investigators.

"The company that allegedly paid the bribes, identified in court filings only as "K," closely resembles Kuchera Defense Systems, which is based in Murtha's congressional district outside Pittsburgh and was a subcontractor to Coherent. Kuchera Defense Systems and its sister company, Kuchera Industries, are under federal investigation for allegations of fraud and overbilling on Defense Department contracts. The probe focuses on companies that benefited from contracts orchestrated or approved by Murtha, the powerful chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on military spending.

"Defense investigators and the FBI raided Kuchera's corporate offices and the homes of its top two executives January. In late April, the Navy suspended Kuchera for 'alleged fraud,' including 'multiple incidents' of incorrect charging, Navy officials said, along with allegations of defective pricing and ethical violations."

Government Inc. readers may recall that Murtha has been one of the leading practioners of earmarks -- funding that is directed to very particular places.

Federal investigators are examining the extent to which those earmarks are linked to campaign contributions to the powerful lawmaker.

By Robert O'Harrow |  July 7, 2009; 3:10 PM ET fraud
Previous: SAIC, Other Contractors Allegedly Conspired on $3.2 Billion Deal | Next: Contractors Must Check For Immigrant Status

Comments

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Will Congress ever clean it's houses? It's obvious that earmarks or other targeted legislation are prone to graft, yet despite the promises to end earmarks, they continue. Perhaps we have reached the "Define earmark" stage.

Posted by: tnvret | July 7, 2009 6:06 PM

Where is the news of report?
To me that is only the cockroach that you see, when very well we know that behind walls are a multitud.
What else should we expect from a Chicago-Mob-Orginizer government style?
Only Caos, Only looting, Only Tyranny.

Posted by: robertorobles22 | July 8, 2009 9:40 PM

I do believe that Elitist and they're Cronies have just about ruined this wonderful Country the United States of America and have almost toppled our Great Republic's Governmental system. I believe that we have already crossed the line and are slowly sinking into oblivion. If you read these lines below you and other's will see the truth in these words. Elites and the others in their treasonous actions need to be stopped. By using your voice and vote it can happen, it can change the voice of the people can still be heard. The public media remain oblivious and impenitent to the real horror that we have been witnessed to in these last years.

IF YOU CAN EVEN AGREE IN HALF OF THESE CONDITIONS BELOW WE ARE STILL FACING A HARD ROW TO HOE. HELP THE COUNTRY BE REBORN IN TRUTH AND JUSTICE!

1. Protests are restricted and ignored and even provoked into violence.
2. Plans to expand your country into a empire and the plans are kept secret.
3. Your elected officials profit from war and disasters.
4. Your government writes laws that directly defies your Constitution.
5. Your government sets up elaborate surveillance systems so citizens can be closely monitored.
6. Both your political parties considers war necessary.
7. The integrity of your election results become suspect.
8. Your news refers to people who disagree with the government as anarchist or socialist and terrorist.
9. Your government tells you torture is ok and begins to operate secret prison camps.
10. If your Goverment Leadership is to incompetent to run a Country, then someone else must be handling it.

Corporate Criminals that are in place in our Government don't care about the public for one second! We the People maybe We the Sheeple should apply


http://www.wimp.com/thegovernment/
This link will clear up some of our confusion

Posted by: dukedeltree | July 9, 2009 3:10 PM

Remember, Pelosi wanted him to be the 2nd in command of the House of Representatives. Maybe this is why she wanted him by her side and maybe this is why so many Democrats in Congress didn't want him. I remember how mad he looked after the vote and how Pelosi still had him out front until these investigations started. THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH CONGRESS! These people (crooks) are stealing taxpayer moneys to inhance their personal wealth. In reality, how many lawyers will take a case that they don't benefit personally from first?

THROW THE BUMS IN JAIL, then, let's see how much better Congress might behave. Put Congress on this new Government healthcare program instead of the elite government plan they already are privledged to receive. Let's see how much different they would respond to the peoples' concern over government takeover of healthcare. Make them only receive what the rest of us receive on Social Security, especially since they have stolen every dime out of the Trust Fund to use on their pet projects that they probably get in exchange for kickbacks or campaign contributions. Then will we get SS reform instead of kicking it down the road as they have for the last 40 years because it doesn't affect how they retire with their pension of up to $500,000/year.

Posted by: leasador | July 10, 2009 12:24 PM

Several years ago I suggested to the Youngstown news paper in Pa they assign an investigative reporter to Congress Murtha and they would find out a lot about him starting with ABSCAM.
They did not and now the system has created a ripof artist.

Posted by: ltcsetser | July 11, 2009 1:14 PM

Murtha is disgusting, I do not believe his constituents are this dumb. With the airport, and all this news, do they not challenge is election and greed.

Posted by: gerry11 | July 14, 2009 1:00 PM

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