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Marine pleads guilty in Iraq bribe scheme

Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:01 PM

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Gilbert Mendez pleaded guilty to charges of accepting $150,000 in bribes while a contracting officer at Camp Fallujah, Iraq.

Mendez, 36, currently serving at Camp Lejeune, N.C., admitted in federal court in San Diego Thursday he took the bribes to award more than $2.6 million in contracts to three foreign-owned businesses to provide goods and service to the base in 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Neither the businesses nor the nature of the goods and services was named in information released by the U.S. attorney's office.

Francisco Mungia III, a former Marine who assisted Mendez in the scheme, was sentenced earlier this year to four months in prison and agreed to repay the government $30,000, the newspaper said.

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