Tactical

Army research biologist admits to bribery scheme for home renovation

An Army research biologist in Maryland pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to carry out favors on government contracts in exchange for money for home renovations, the Department of Justice announced June 28.

Jason Edmonds, who worked at Aberdeen Proving Ground, admitted to accepting cash and other financial benefits totaling at least $95,000 in exchange for facilitating positive action on deals for the company EISCO, which received more than $1.8 million in contract awards, according to a plea agreement reviewed Monday by Military Times. The scheme began as early as 2012, court documents show.

He faces a maximum of five years in federal prison for conspiring to commit bribery, according to a Department of Justice release.

An attorney for Edmonds did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Edmonds was an employee with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center, the nation’s primary research and development center for non-medical chemical and biological weapons defense.

For years, he used his position to garner financial favors, the plea agreement states, from repairs to his vehicle to the purchase and renovation of rental properties, making this another example of a military employee admitting to trading bribes for advantageous government contracts.

As an example, in 2013, after directing a project to EISCO, Edmonds received $40,000 in cash from the company’s owner so that he could purchase two rental real estate properties, the Justice Department release noted.

Between 2016 and 2017, Edmonds directed a series of government projects to EISCO in exchange for a kitchen remodel at his residence, the purchase of a granite countertop, a kitchen sink and new siding for his home, the release said.

According to the Justice Department, in June 2020, after federal agents attempted to interview Edmonds and EISCO’s owner, the co-conspirators met to discuss the investigation and Edmonds proposed they lie to federal investigators and say he repaid the government contractor with gold and baseball cards.

Sentencing is currently slated for November, another court document noted.

EISCO’s owner pleaded guilty in 2022 for his involvement in the scheme, according to the Justice Department.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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