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Charges Filed Against Defense Executive With Ties to Murtha

Updated: 2:01 p.m.

A defense contracting executive with ties to Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) is being charged by federal prosecutors with pocketing $200,000 in kickbacks from a subcontractor.

Richard Ianieri was charged with taking the money while he was the chief executive of Coherent Systems International, a company that has received millions of dollars in earmarks from Murtha. The criminal information filed against Ianieri on Monday referred to the subcontractor as “K— but did not name the company. Coherent has worked closely with Kuchera Defense Systems, which had its offices and the homes of its top executives raided by federal agents in January.

Ianieri was working as a consultant with Kuchera as recently as this spring, Roll Call has reported.

Coherent, which was bought by Argon ST in 2007, since 2004 has been a client of KSA Consulting, a lobbying firm that had employed Murtha’s brother, Kit. In early 2005, Murtha added language to a tsunami relief bill that shifted $8.2 million from a former KSA client to Coherent. That earmark is now tangled in a federal indictment in Florida alleging that some of the money was skimmed by contractors and a Defense Department employee for their personal use, Roll Call has reported.

Murtha spokesman Matt Mazonkey said his office was unaware of the charges, “and since we are not involved with or following the case we have nothing to comment on.— A criminal information usually is an indication that the party intends to plead guilty.

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