2 charged with taking kickbacks

October 12, 1990

Two former employees of defense contractors have been accused of soliciting and accepting bribes for information on military subcontracts, a U.S. attorney said.

Charged were Joseph L. Ritchey, 45, of Morgan Hill, Ca., a former deputy program manager for a California-based defense contractor, and Sumner Louis Barton, 68, of San Jose, Ca., a former consultant to AAI of Cockeysville.

Each has been charged with one count of soliciting and accepting $2,000 in kickbacks for inside information about federal subcontracts.

Their alleged acts violate the federal government's Anti-kickback Act enacted to prohibit commercial bribery in contracts involving the federal government.

Each of the charges is a felony and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or both.

U.S. Attorney Breckinridge L. Willcox said Ritchey worked for Bechtel National Corp., which had been awarded a multi-million dollar government contract as the army's procurement agent in obtaining bids and awarding subcontracts for the engineering and manufacturing of equipment for the disposal of chemical warfare materials. Barton was a sales consultant to AAI.

Both have been accused of scheming from June 1989 to May 1990 to obtain kickbacks from AAI in return for providing AAI with inside information about subcontracts to be awarded as part of Bechtel's prime Demilitarization contract.

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