Ex-Defense Contractor Helps With Other Probes

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mitchell Wade, the former defense contractor who pleaded guilty in February 2006 to bribing former representative Randall "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), has assisted the government in investigating five other members of Congress, numerous government employees and several private contractors, according to a memorandum filed by his attorney on Wednesday.

Although none of those members is named, two are under investigation, according to the memorandum, and "three others have come under scrutiny for their receipt of straw contributions" from former Wade employees and one for the possible receipt of undisclosed gifts.

Wade, who is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 15, faces a minimum of nine years in prison. Instead, based primarily on his cooperation with government investigators, he is seeking to have that sentence reduced to "a year of home detention, a fine of $250,000, five years probation and substantial community service," according to the sentencing memorandum filed on his behalf by his attorney, Howard M. Shapiro.

Wade's cooperation, which was important in the Cunningham trial, "has led to the guilty pleas or conviction at trial of seven other individuals," said the memorandum, which was first publicly disclosed by Seth Hettena on his blog.

Hettena wrote that Wade supplied a searchable electronic database of 150,000 documents, including the "bribe menu," which described how much money Cunningham wanted for each act that he undertook.

-- Walter Pincus

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