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Civilian contract manager at Aberdeen Proving Ground indicted on conspiracy, bribery charges

A 42-year-old man from Harford County was indicted on conspiracy and bribery charges in federal court after prosecutors said he awarded military contracts to an Ohio man's company in exchange for $157,000 over three and a half years.

A civilian, John Kays, of Bel Air, managed contracts at Aberdeen Proving Ground before his resignation two years ago. Prosecutors said he awarded contracts to Matthew Barrow, 42, of Toledo, in exchange for cash and bought a Nissan Armada, BMW, Yamaha power boat and diamond earrings.

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Barrow has also been indicted on charges of conspiracy and bribery, prosecutors said. He owns MJ-6 LLC, an Ohio company he and his wife formed in 2008 to obtain military contracts.

Kays and Barrow appeared last week in federal court in Baltimore and have been released under supervision. They could not be reached for comment.

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The alleged bribes occurred between December 2010 and June 2014. Barrow withdrew cash in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid bank-reporting requirements, prosecutors said. Kays, they said, did not report receiving the cash on government ethics forms.

The men face up to five years in prison for conspiracy, 15 years for bribery, and $250,000 per count in fines. Both men's assets were frozen.

A trial date has not yet been set.

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