Prosecutors Seek 25 Years for Duke Briber, “War Profiteer”

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February 16, 2008 11:24 a.m.
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From The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Federal prosecutors say Brent Wilkes is a war profiteer, a lecher and a liar whose decade-long bribery of former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham netted him $46 million.

For that, and for orchestrating the largest congressional bribery scheme in history, they say the Poway defense contractor should be sentenced to 25 years in prison….

They blasted his once-high-flying lifestyle, belittled his claims of innocence and branded him an “overgrown frat boy” fueled by greed and avarice.

At minimum, Wilkes should receive no less than 16 years and eight months in prison, prosecutors said. That would be exactly twice the length of the sentence Cunningham received after pleading guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion.

Wilkes should get a longer sentence because he was the “architect” of the scheme and his profit was fatter and lack of remorse far greater than Cunningham’s, prosecutors said. They describe the disgraced former Republican congressman from Rancho Santa Fe as “a broken old soldier” and Wilkes as an “unrepentant war profiteer.”

Prosecutors said Cunningham should be blamed for his role, but in a footnote said, “There can be little doubt Wilkes was the spider, and Cunningham the fly, in this web of corruption.”

The metaphors abound. Cunningham the broken old fly, Wilkes the unrepentant spider.

Earlier, probation officials had recommended a 60-year sentence for Wilkes. But it will be up to the judge on Tuesday.

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