The brother of a former Army Corps of Engineers employee was sentenced in federal court Thursday to 24 months in jail for his role in a kickback scheme involving government contracts.

Nazim Khan, 49, admitted in June to helping funnel more than $600,000 between a government contractor and his older brother, Kerry F. Khan, a former program manager for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Nazim Khan, who started an auto body shop and home remodeling company in Southern Maryland, was not part of his brother’s broader bribery scam that authorities have called the largest in the history of federal contracting.

His attorney, Richard Seligman, argued for a lesser jail term of 12 months because of what he called Nazim Khan’s minimal role in the scheme. Nazim Khan, he said, was struggling financially and was an “easy mark.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael K. Atkinson said Nazim Khan might have been “less greedy, but he is no less culpable.”

At issue for U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan was essentially how big of a favor it was for Nazim Khan to serve as a conduit of bribes to a public official. After listening to attorneys from both sides, Sullivan concluded, “You made a horribly bad judgment, but your role wasn’t minimal.”

“Your role was significant,” said Sullivan, who also ordered Nazim Khan and his co-conspirators to pay $611,000 in restitution. “Without you, there was no crime.”

During a nine-month period starting in 2007, according to court records, government contractor Robert McKinney funneled money he received from inflating invoices to the Army Corps through Nazim Khan’s home remodeling business to his brother. Nazim Khan retained $83,000, according to court records.

McKinney has been sentenced to 33 months in jail, and Kerry Khan is scheduled to be sentenced in March.