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Contractor gets 12 years for bribing lawmaker

  • Story Highlights
  • Jury found guilt on bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and wire fraud
  • Federal judge sentences Brent Wilkes to 12 years in prison Tuesday
  • Wilkes accused of giving $700,000 to lawmaker in exchange for contracts
  • Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham is serving 8 years in prison
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(CNN) -- A federal judge in San Diego, California, sentenced defense contractor Brent Wilkes to 12 years in prison Tuesday for bribing then-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, federal prosecutors said.


Defense contractor Brent Wilkes at the federal courthouse in San Diego Tuesday.

A California jury found Wilkes guilty of bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and 10 counts of wire fraud in November.

He was accused of providing more than $700,000 to Cunningham in exchange for the Southern California Republican's help steering more than $70 million in defense contracts to Wilkes and another contractor, Mitchell Wade.

In addition to handing down the prison term, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered Wilkes to pay fines totaling more than $1.1 million, said Debra Hartman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in San Diego.

Wilkes' lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Prosecutors accused Wilkes, 53, of paying off a $500,000 note on Cunningham's California home; picking up the tab for vacation outings, private jet travel and limousines; buying Cunningham a $14,000 speedboat; and having an employee line up prostitutes for himself and the lawmaker during a two-night stay in Hawaii.

Before pleading guilty to bribery in 2005, Cunningham sat on a House Appropriations subcommittee that oversaw defense spending. The one-time Navy fighter ace is serving an eight-year, four-month prison term and has been cooperating with federal agents.

Wade pleaded guilty to related charges in 2006.

Wilkes and long-time friend Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the former executive director of the CIA, also faced trial on charges Foggo corruptly pressured subordinates to award contracts to Wilkes and his company, ADCS Inc.

But prosecutors moved to dismiss the charges against Foggo in Tuesday's hearing, and have agreed to let the case be transferred to a federal court in Virginia, where he lives.

Foggo resigned from the spy agency in 2006, days before federal agents raided his home. Prosecutors accuse Wilkes of providing him with "lavish" gifts, including a $44,000 stay at a castle in Scotland, in exchange for his influence. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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