Feb. 6, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Sentencing May End DOJ Earmark Probe

Ianieri’s Coherent Systems at the time shared a Pennsylvania facility with Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems, and the companies had received millions of dollars worth of earmarks from Murtha. Kuchera executives and employees have donated more than $60,000 to Murtha’s political action committee and campaigns since 2002.

According to the Florida charges against Ianieri, in December 2005 he paid Kuchera $650,000 for products that were not part of the project Coherent was building for the Air Force.

A year ago, federal agents raided Kuchera, reportedly as part of an investigation of alleged misuse of government contract dollars. The Navy suspended the company from receiving additional federal contracts but revoked the suspension later in the year. On Dec. 22, the company was suspended again, and the Navy said the suspension was due to the kickbacks allegedly provided to Coherent.

No criminal charges have been filed against Kuchera, and the company has field an appeal of the December suspension.

Ianieri’s plea also indicates that he diverted money to other contractors who were clients of KSA, but neither the lobbying firm nor any of the other companies have been charged with any crime.

The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct has said it is investigating the PMA Group and its relationship to lawmakers, but late last year the independent Office of Congressional Ethics closed its investigation of PMA’s relationships with Murtha and Young over the past three years and recommended no further action by the ethics committee.

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