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Fourth person charged in connection with bribery scheme involving Aberdeen Proving Ground contract

A fourth person has been indicted by a federal grand jury in an alleged bribery scheme involving contracts awarded by an Aberdeen Proving Ground tenant to an Ohio company, the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office announcd.

Eric D. Price, 58, of Fayetteville, N.C., was indicted Tuesday in U.S. District Court for conspiracy to defraud the United States and wire fraud charges related to payments to him for a "no show" job on a sub-contract under contracts awarded by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, according to a news release from Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning.

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According to the seven-count indictment, in March 2006, the Army Contracting Command at APG awarded a 10-year, $19.2 billion contract to seven prime contractors to provide technology services to support the integrated engineering, business operations and logistics needs for the Army. Task Orders 11, 77 and 115 were placed against this contract. John Kays had a leadership position as a civilian employee of the Army related to these task orders.

Matthew Barrow was the president and owner of MJ-6 LLC, a company which he and his wife formed in Ohio in 2008 to obtain military subcontracts. John Kays steered business on Task Orders 77, 11 and 115 to MJ-6, according to the indictment.

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According to the indictment, Kays and Barrow agreed that Price would be added to the MJ-6 payroll. Price's job was allegedly to directly support Kays. Price allegedly worked remotely in Fayetteville, while Kays worked at APG.

From February 2010 through February 2012, Price allegedly fraudulently received more than $100,000 in salary payments for a "no show" job at MJ-6 for which MJ-6 billed more than $400,000 to the prime contractor, which was passed through to the Army. Kays certified and approved MJ-6's work, including Price's "no show" job, according to the indictment. To facilitate the “no show” job, Price allegedly submitted false and fictitious status reports and invoices through MJ-6 to the prime contractor.

Price faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy and 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count. An initial court appearance has not yet been scheduled. Price could not be reached for comment.

In connection with a larger bribery scheme involving John Kays and Barrow, Barrow pleaded guilty to paying John Kays and his wife, Danielle Kays, also a government official, bribes of approximately $800,000, including $500,000 in cash. John Kays and Danielle Kays live in Bel Air.

John Kays pleaded guilty to receiving bribes of approximately $800,000 from Barrow. His sentencing proceeding is scheduled for April 3 at 9 a.m. before Judge Catherine C. Blake, according to court records.

Barrow's sentencing is set for April 20 at 2 p.m. before Judge George L. Russell III.

Danielle Kays is serving an 18-month sentence after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and bribery, according to court records.

John Kays, Danielle Kays and Matthew Barrow all graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where they were classmates, according to federal prosecutors.

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