FEBRUARY 15, 2007
A former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director has been indicted for using his influence at the spy agency to award his best friend defense contracts in exchange for cash, expensive gifts and lavish vacations in a widespread corruption ring that has already landed a prominent Congressman in prison.
The first to go down in the ongoing bribery scheme was California Representative Randy Duke Cunningham, who pleaded guilty in late 2005 to taking more than $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
This week federal prosecutors announced the indictment of Kyle Foggo, a former CIA director charged with taking bribes to steer more than $1.7 million in contracts to his lifelong friend, a San Diego defense contractor named Brent Wilkes. In return, Wilkes showered Foggo with fancy dinners, gifts and first-class trips abroad.
Both men are charged with conspiracy and money laundering and prosecutors say Foggo was “corruptly influenced in his performance of his official duties.” Federal officials say the men covered their corrupt acts by using shell companies and straw men to launder the proceeds of their fraud.
Additionally, Foggo violated CIA policy by concealing material facts from agency officials and failing to include in mandatory financial disclosures the thousands of dollars, meals, vacation and other merchandise he received from his friend’s company. The U.S. Attorney in San Diego who released the indictment said “high government positions and powerful connections should not be tickets to corrupt self-enrichment.”
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