Cunningham bribe figure draws sentence

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Former defense contractor Mitchell Wade must spend more than 2 years in prison for bribing then-U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., a judge says.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina issued the 2 ½-year sentence to Wade in Washington Monday, in what observers said was a break for the defendant. Wade, 45, had pleaded guilty to giving Cunningham more than $1 million in gifts including cash, home furnishings, a Rolls-Royce and an antique commode, The Washington Post reported.


Wade, a Washington resident, had faced a possible 11 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, but had shown remorse and had helped authorities investigate Cunningham, Urbina said.

Prosecutors said that in addition to the Cunningham gifts, Wade gave nearly $80,000 in illegal campaign contributions to two other U.S. House members hoping to improve his business prospects, and also hired the son of a U.S. Defense Department official overseeing a multimillion-dollar contract, the Post reported.

Cunningham was given an eight-year prison sentence two years ago for accepting $2.4 million in bribes from Wade and another defense contractor.


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