Former Army contracting official indicted in far-reaching fraud probe

A former Army contracting official was arrested Tuesday on charges that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and other bribes from companies and officials who he helped cheat the federal contracting system.

In Seon Lim, 48, of Fairfax Station, Va., is accused of taking cash, a Lexus and a trip to the Bahamas, among other things, in exchange for his helping steer government business to certain contractors, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday. He is charged with bribery, money laundering and related counts, according to the indictment.

Lim, who worked as an Army official until April 2012 and for a time oversaw communications systems upgrades for the U.S. forces in Seoul, is the latest to be charged in what authorities have described as a sweeping and far-reaching inquiry of corruption in U.S. government contracting. Authorities said 17 people and one company, Nova Datacom, LLC, have pleaded guilty to federal charges in the investigation, and a second company, Saena Tech Corp., has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the government.

In addition to helping steer business to certain contractors, the indictment accuses Lim of directing some companies to bill the government for work they did not perform, then pay him a portion of those proceeds.

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Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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