EXCLUSIVE: Crooked Contractor’s Ties Extended to Energy Dept.

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We’ve known for a while that Mitchell Wade’s bribery scheme won him contracts with the Pentagon.

But now we’ve discovered that Wade’s company, MZM Inc., had at least one contract with an intelligence office inside the Department of Energy, according to a document obtained by TPMmuckraker.com.

Wade pleaded guilty two weeks ago to several felony counts of bribery and conspiracy. He was a key player in the corruption scandal of former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA), who took $2.4 million from contractors, MZM’s Wade foremost among them, in exchange for government contracts.

To date, MZM’s involvement with the Energy Department has not been reported.

But an invoice we obtained shows MZM performed “support services” to the agency’s Office of Counterintelligence.The document, an invoice for 13 hours of work performed during January 2004, was for $2,355. Written on the invoice are the words, “Principal systems architect.”

We could not determine the total value or length of MZM’s contract with the Energy Department. The agency did not return calls for comment.

The Department of Energy protects many of the nation’s nuclear weapons and energy secrets, including advanced research projects at Los Alamos, Livermore and other national labs. Its Office of Counterintelligence was created in 1998 to strengthen counterespionage efforts, particularly in the labs, where security remains notoriously weak.

In Congress, appropriations that fund the Energy Counterintelligence Office are handled by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Former congressman Cunningham, who is serving an eight-year sentence for taking bribes from MZM founder Mitchell Wade, sat on that panel.

The invoice shows the services were performed by Douglas Evalenko, who was vice president of MZM, company records show. Evalenko was also on the board of directors of Wade’s non-profit Sure Foundation, which shared an address with MZM’s headquarters, according to the group’s IRS filings.

We reached Evalenko on the phone, but he declined to discuss the arrangement. “I don’t work for MZM anymore and really have no comment,” he said. He referred us to the company, which has since been purchased by Athena Innovative Solutions.

Reached in his office, Athena’s General Counsel Michael Woods declined to elaborate on the contract. “We don’t comment on MZM matters at all,” Woods told us.