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Army Contracting Employee Charged With Accepting Bribes To Pay His Mortgage

Flickr/U.S. Army/Sgt. Todd A. Christopherson

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Federal prosecutors arrested a former Army contracting employee on conspiracy and fraud charges Wednesday for allegedly accepting $125,000 of bribes in exchange for construction contracts.

Kevin Leondi, a 56-year-old Pennsylvania man, worked as a liaison between U.S. Army Contracting Command New Jersey and construction companies, and allegedly abused his position “by accepting bribes in connection with renovation projects,” the New Jersey district attorney’s office said in a news release

Leondi also owned his own construction company, and induced Army contractors to hire his firm as a subcontractor, the complaint against Leondi said.

As a contract specialist for the Picattiny Arsenal and the Joint Base McGuire-Dix Lakehurst in New Jersey between 2010 and 2015, Leondi demanded and received more than $125,000 from one unnamed contractor to help them win and keep construction contracts and for “other favorable assistance,” federal prosecutors allege.

On one occasion, Leondi demanded the contractor help him pay his mortgage. In order to pay off $45,000 in mortgage debt, the construction company gave Leondi a $21,750 subcontract for painting a mall in Pennsylvania. Leondi’s company didn’t do any of the work, but still pocketed the check, according to court records.

To make up the balance of the $45,000 mortgage, Leondi sold the construction company a scissor lift for $28,250, even though the equipment wasn’t worth more than $5,000, the complaint against Leondi said.

The construction company made a $40,ooo payment to Leondi  in 2010, which he later covered up with a fake invoice for equipment from his own company. Court documents show that Leondi’s company invoiced the unnamed contractor for equipment at inflated prices, which the company never received.

Leondi will appear in court Wednesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing.

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