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Four Accused Of 'Brazen' Federal Contracting Corruption Scheme

Four men were arrested Tuesday for their alleged roles in what the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald Machen, alleges was "one of the most brazen corruption schemes in the history of federal contracting."

The Washington Post's Crime Scene blog writes that:

"Charged in the District's federal court with conspiracy, bribery and unlawful kickback were two Army Corps contracting officers, Kerry F. Khan of Alexandria, and Michael A. Alexander of Woodbridge.

"Facing the same charges are Khan's son, Lee, of Fairfax County, and Harold F. Babb, of Sterling, director of contracts for EyakTek, an Alaska Native Corporation with an office in Dulles, Va."

As The Wall Street Journal adds, the men are accused of taking part "in a scheme to steer a $780 million government contract to a Virginia-based company in return for millions of dollars in kickbacks, the Justice Department said."

They are also charged "in a $20 million bribery and kickback case that prosecutors [alllege] helped pay for the purchase of more than a dozen properties, Rolex and Cartier watches, fancy sports cars and hotel accommodations, first-class airline tickets and a trove of other personal luxuries," The Associated Press says.

The contracts involved in the alleged scheme were for "software encryption devices and other information technology, prosecutors say."

Attorneys for the men entered pleas of not guilty yesterday, AP adds.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.