Wilkes Contractor Testifies, Describes Lavish Cunningham Bribes
In San Diego, trial is underway for a former defense contractor accused of bribing Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the former congressman who is serving more than eight years in prison. Brent Wilkes is accus
In San Diego, trial is underway for a former defense contractor accused of bribing Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the former congressman who is serving more than eight years in prison. Brent Wilkes is accused of fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and providing more than $600,000 in the form of cash, meals, private jet flights, vacations and prostitutes. Reporter Seth Hettena has more.
The prosecution called one of their star witnesses, a defense contractor named Mitchell Wade who has pleaded guilty to bribing Cunningham. Wade testified in hopes of a reduced sentence, relating that he met Cunningham shortly after he began working for the defendant, Brent Wilkes, in 1998.
In a subdued voice, Wade said Cunningham delivered millions of dollars in pork-barrel contracts to Wilkes' company, ADCS, and pressured Defense Department officials who questioned the company's subpar performance. Wade said he and Wilkes spoke derisively about the congressman, whom he described as a man of below average intelligence, even as they treated him to expensive meals and vacations.
In 2001, Wade secretly went behind his boss' back and began to use Cunningham to enrich himself . He ultimately provided two million dollars’ worth of bribes, including a yacht and a Rolls-Royce.
I'm Seth Hettena For KPBS News.