Navy research engineer admits bribery

Nov. 4, 2009 at 8:57 PM

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- A project manager at a U.S. Navy research facility in southern California has admitted steering work to a contractor in return for large bribes, officials say.

Gary Alexander, 50, is the fourth person to plead guilty in an investigation into bribery and fraud at the SPAWAR facility, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. He entered his plea Tuesday in front of U.S. Magistrate Barbara Lynn Major.

Prosecutors said that Alexander, an engineer who became project manager for the SPAWAR Air Surveillance and Reconnaissance branch, was the architect of the fraud. In 1999, after his wages were garnished as part of a bankruptcy, he suggested to Elizabeth Ramos, who owned Technical Logistics Corp. in National City with her husband Louis Williams, that he could steer contracts to the company in return for a percentage.

Pamela Banks, who started a company out of her home, agreed to a similar scheme in 2005, prosecutors said. Banks, Ramos, Williams and Alexander's wife, Kelly, have all pleaded guilty.

Alexander and his wife got $200,000 to $400,000 for steering almost $5 million in contracts to Technical Logistics, prosecutors said. They also got perks like a Palm Springs, Calif., vacation.

Sentencing is scheduled for February.

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