Ex-Defense official pleads in fraud scheme

Oct. 14, 2004 at 5:19 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A former Defense Department official pleaded guilty Thursday in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Army in Seoul, Korea.

Percy Lee Powers of Seoul pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly at federal court in Washington, D.C., to one count of conspiring to defraud the United States and one count of bribery.

Powers admitted to defrauding the Army of more than $55,000 and accepting more than $30,000 in bribes.

Powers, who agreed to cooperate with the government's investigation, faces up to 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 31.

The complaint said Powers was responsible for purchases and contracts by and for the Army in Korea. He admitted that from 2001 to 2003, he used his official position to violate contracting rules and gave several contracts for truck parts, others supplies and services to a Korean contractor's company in exchange for money.

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