Another FBI probe involves Murtha

posted at 10:56 am on July 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Washington Post reports on a new FBI investigation into contract fraud involving an Air Force project run out of Pensacola AFB.  Prosecutors focused on at least one Congressional earmark of $8 million for the project, which funded not the stated purpose of the project but a series of firms connected to the Congressman who issued the earmark.  The new allegations bring a series of corruption probes closer to John Murtha than ever before:

When an Air Force command in north Florida sought new battlefield technologies, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) steered millions in federal dollars its way to hire defense contractors.

The research effort at the Pensacola Air Force base fell apart, however, when investigators found evidence that it was used to improperly pay a series of companies linked to Murtha. A handful of defense firms were paid for work that was never done or not called for in the contracts. Some of the companies involved, based in Wyoming, Florida and Murtha’s district in Pennsylvania, had hidden owners, prosecutors allege; one was secretly owned by the Air Force official who helped approve the payments.

As prosecutors reveal new details of their criminal probe into the $8 million earmark that Murtha arranged for the Air Force project, one familiar player is never mentioned by authorities. Several of the companies had hired the lobbying firm of the lawmaker’s brother, Robert C. “Kit” Murtha.

Today, one of Kit Murtha’s earliest clients has agreed to tell the government what he did and the crimes he said he saw committed as the lead contractor on the Murtha-orchestrated project. Richard “Rick” Ianieri, former chief executive of Coherent Systems International, is expected to plead guilty to taking kickbacks and preparing fraudulent invoices. Ianieri, a Pennsylvania entrepreneur, saw his business grow dramatically after hiring Kit Murtha’s firm, KSA Consulting.

Last week, it looked like Ianieri could be singing.  Now we have confirmation.  As the Post reports, Ianieri had an inside seat at the confluence of corruption:

Several years ago, Ianieri told the news media that he had selected Kit Murtha’s lobbying firm on the advice of Murtha’s chief of staff. Federal prosecutors in Florida charge that Ianieri helped an Air Force contract manager, Mark O’Hair, pay five companies — including Coherent’s fellow KSA clients Gensym and VidiaFusion — nearly $2 million that they should not have received.

Prosecutors charge that Gensym and VidiaFusion collected $300,000 and $274,000, respectively, for purported software for the communications system, known as “Ground Mobile Gateway.” Authorities say their work consisted of a few compact discs that stayed locked in a Coherent Systems closet.

Gensym lists as its North America headquarters the same Rockville address and office suite as KSA Consulting’s offices.

Thus far, the feds have not attempted to charge Murtha with a role in the corruption, but they can afford to take their time.  As Murtha’s pals all start to look at serious jail time, they’ll do what Ianieri did: sing.  Eventually, it will lead back to either or both Kit and John Murtha.  The scheme wouldn’t exist at all without Murtha’s prodigious earmarks.  John Murtha’s cash bequests from the Treasury wound up enriching his brother and all of his friends, and there’s no way that happened without Murtha himself being aware of it.  The only other explanation would be that Murtha is so much of an idiot that he got fleeced by his own brother and utterly failed to do his due diligence before writing millions of dollars worth of checks to crooks.

I’d like to see Murtha offer that explanation as a reason why his constituents should return him to office in 2010.  I suspect that Murtha may decide to retire first, though, especially if anyone else begins singing.


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Pensacola AFB? LOL!

Fletch54 on July 15, 2009 at 11:00 AM

FBI to send an EATR running low on fuel to Murtha’s office to “investigate”.

WashJeff on July 15, 2009 at 11:01 AM

I will celebrate the day when this miserable, angry, corrupt prick is dragged out of his office in handcuffs.

UltimateBob on July 15, 2009 at 11:05 AM

I suspect that Murtha may decide to retire first

A world without him in Congress? Didn’t think I’d live to see it, and I’m young.

Esthier on July 15, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Why dose the FBI hate our heroes?
.
*My fingers got sick typing that*

hanoverfist on July 15, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Murtha’s no different than any other corrupt and incompetent Democrat in national politics. They are all scum and they should all be hurled bodily from office.

What’s also similar is that Murtha will pay no price for this. Pelosi lied, Reid’s corrupt as the day is long, the White House is Tammany Hall and no one does anything.

NoDonkey on July 15, 2009 at 11:06 AM

I am so SICK AND TIRED of these crooks in office!
JUMPEN JESUS ON A POGO STICK!
What the hell can we do to get rid of these parasites!!!!!

ColdWarrior57 on July 15, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Fletch54 on July 15, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Yeah, what is that? Tyndall AFB and Eglin AFB are near Pensacola NAS, but as far as I know, there is no Pensacola AFB.

NoDonkey on July 15, 2009 at 11:09 AM

JUMPEN JESUS ON A POGO STICK!
What the hell can we do to get rid of these parasites!!!!!

ColdWarrior57 on July 15, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Vote for this guy to unseat Murtha! (SFW)

WashJeff on July 15, 2009 at 11:10 AM

hopefully he’ll retire to state penatentury…bastard.

SHARPTOOTH on July 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM

There is no such place as Pensacola AFB. There is NAS Pensacola, Hurlburt Field, and Eglin AFB, but no Pensacola AFB. Great investigative journalism at work.

kmaster31 on July 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM

NoDonkey: “Murtha’s no different than any other corrupt and incompetent Democrat in national politics.”

Well, actually, in the pigsty that is the modern Democrat Party, Murtha remains the biggest pig!

Murtha was satisfied just being a CROOK…he found it necessary to smear the Marines in Iraq.

He should be in prison (of course, he’d want it NAMED after him…which I’m ok with!)

Justrand on July 15, 2009 at 11:12 AM

I’d like to see Murtha offer that explanation as a reason why his constituents should return him to office in 2010.

Problem is that his constituents wouldn’t care what he said or did as long as he keeps bringin’ home the bacon.

VibrioCocci on July 15, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Even if he is sitting in a jail cell, the voters in his district WILL re-elect him! Trust me on this…I live there.

wtmvaliant on July 15, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Even with so much dirt on Murtha he stays. William Jefferson (D), LA, was protected from the law until he was finally, finally voted out of office. It takes way too long for the folks back home to figure this out.
If the banking committee in the House and Senate were emptied of it’s members the stock market would go up and people would start spending right away. That would be the sign that the government was actually taking responsibility. I am sure that I will never see that day. The only thing I can think of right now is to start demanding a more honest government. It isn’t going to just happen.

BetseyRoss on July 15, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Why dose the FBI hate our heroes?
.
*My fingers got sick typing that*

hanoverfist on July 15, 2009 at 11:06 AM

LOL…that was my chuckle for the day!

Jeff from WI on July 15, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Thank you, western Pennsylvania. Fools.

SouthernGent on July 15, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Murth will do the honorable and throw someone else on his sword.

Limerick on July 15, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Murtha’s re-election is the reason I have no faith in America’s future.

MaiDee on July 15, 2009 at 11:25 AM

I lived On Pensacola NAS when my dad was in the Air Force. It’s a Navy Base not an AF Base.

Brat4life on July 15, 2009 at 11:25 AM

HALLIBURTON!

case closed

mankai on July 15, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Pensacola AFB? LOL!

Fletch54 on July 15, 2009 at 11:00 AM

NAS Pensacola has only been a Naval facility since the 1820s so I’m sure the fact checker just got confused.

highhopes on July 15, 2009 at 11:26 AM

SouthernGent on July 15, 2009 at 11:21 AM

being from eastern pa, i appreciate your geographical acuracy.

SHARPTOOTH on July 15, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Murth will do the honorable and throw someone else on his sword.

Limerick on July 15, 2009 at 11:22 AM

And Nancy Piglosi will be right there to clean up his mess and provide cover for Murtha once again.

These people have no shame.

Knucklehead on July 15, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Someone else posted it, but it is worth repeating….people keep voting for clowns like this. We just had a local county raise taxes to make up for budget shortfalls and the local constituents were raving mad. These were the same people that vote Democrat every election. Nothing changes until we, the people, change our vote!!!!

search4truth on July 15, 2009 at 11:29 AM

yea, they may “finally” get him, what is he 90? I bet he is worried.

It reminds me of all the chatter on Arlen Specter losing the the upcoming election. The dudes got one foot in the grave. Like he cares.

jsunrise on July 15, 2009 at 11:29 AM

New motto for Congress: Looters Rule!

Mojave Mark on July 15, 2009 at 11:30 AM

No such thing as Pensacola AFB, Eglin is down the road to the East though. Maybe that was Murtha’s scam, funds to a nonexistent AFB. Would it be suprising?

major dad on July 15, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Guy will skate, as usual. He’s been dodging Allenwood since ABSCAM.

curved space on July 15, 2009 at 11:31 AM

I’d like to see Murtha offer that explanation as a reason why his constituents should return him to office in 2010. I suspect that Murtha may decide to retire first, though, especially if anyone else begins singing.

I’d like to see him explain how he thought he could sneak an entire AFB into Pensacola without anybody noticing!

Seriously, his constituency doesn’t care he should be in jail. They are the ones who keep re-electing him. A freezer full of cash and an Federal indictment wasn’t enough to defeat William Jefferson (who would still be in Congress if the primary rules in Louisiana hadn’t changed). Murtha seems to have covered his hoof prints better.

highhopes on July 15, 2009 at 11:31 AM

It must take FBI investigations in the double-digits to threaten a Democrat’s seat.

Grafted on July 15, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Hows about seeing him Frog Marched off to jail?????????????????

Rick007 on July 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

No such thing as Pensacola AFB, Eglin is down the road to the East though. Maybe that was Murtha’s scam, funds to a nonexistent AFB. Would it be suprising?

major dad on July 15, 2009 at 11:30 AM

I think it’s sloppy reporting. A lot of AF stuff ended up at NAS Pensacola as part of BRAC. It also could be he’s talking about Eglin or Hurlbert Field in Fort Walton Beach. In any case the man should be in jail and shame on you people in Johnstown for keeping this pig in office!

highhopes on July 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Hows about seeing him Frog Marched off to jail?????????????????

Rick007 on July 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Frog march, perp walk, able to turn himself in; it doesn’t matter so long as he and Bernie Madoff are “roomies”

highhopes on July 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Why is Obama’s Justice Department going after Murtha?

Skandia Recluse on July 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM

N

o such thing as Pensacola AFB, Eglin is down the road to the East though. Maybe that was Murtha’s scam, funds to a nonexistent AFB. Would it be suprising?

major dad on July 15, 2009 at 11:30 AM

When asked about this VP Joe Biden remarked that he liked Pepsi Cola and he liked their new Obama logo.

Jeff from WI on July 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM

This guy could be caught on tape or live in bed with a horse ,mule a bag of hard drugs and a box of bribe money and would steal be reelected and not charged with anything.

thmcbb on July 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Problem is that his constituents wouldn’t care what he said or did as long as he keeps bringin’ home the bacon.

VibrioCocci on July 15, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Hey, the people of Missouri voted a dead guy into office several years ago. Carnahan was his name. He died in a plane crash that was being piloted by his son. The stooges there voted for him anyway so that his wife would get his seat. There are some real idjuts out there.

Big John on July 15, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Americans don’t deserve clean government.They keep voting in criminal scum.

Jeff from WI on July 15, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Frog march, perp walk, able to turn himself in; it doesn’t matter so long as he and Bernie Madoff are “roomies”

highhopes on July 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM

I don’t know if the prison that Madoff is in is even close to where I live in NC, but to think that Murtha might someday be there too? UGH! And with that thought, I believe that I will skip lunch.

Though if he finally gets his due, I believe the nausea associated with being in the same state as those slimeballs will be worth it.

Jayrad on July 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM

I understand Bernie Madoff needs a cellmate.

Percy_Peabody on July 15, 2009 at 11:50 AM

I’d like to see Murtha offer that explanation as a reason why his constituents should return him to office in 2010.

Apparently they’re so stupid they’ll vote him in again anyway, even if he’s running from a jail cell. Besides, look how long it took to even get “Cold Cash” Jefferson into the courtroom. Murtha will likely be running his 2012 campaign by the time anything happens (IF anything happens).

Squiggy on July 15, 2009 at 11:50 AM

If the FBI was for real, Murtha would have been gone a long time ago. More theater.

JiangxiDad on July 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

He’ll keep getting voted in because democrats are stupid.

rollthedice on July 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Even if he is sitting in a jail cell, the voters in his district WILL re-elect him! Trust me on this…I live there.

wtmvaliant on July 15, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Ha Ha Ha I agree, i grew up there and family still live there. and yes they will!!! its sad, i try to enlighten them but as long as he keeps money coming in they dont care… at least thats what they say… even tho there is no sign of any actual money or improvement in quality of life in the area.

gberez on July 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Huh?
What?
An investigation? – oh look!, Obama threw out the first pitch – Michael Jackson – a puppy – Bush – Cheney – Palin…

What was the subject again?

reaganaut on July 15, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Unfortunately, constituents can’t rely on honest, aggressive investigative journalism to publicize the corruption of the officials they elected. Unless they elected a Republican, in which case everyone has multiple opportunities to read his e-mail to his girlfriend.

NellE on July 15, 2009 at 12:07 PM

If they can’t nail him for jail time, can Murtha’s lifetime pension and medical benefits be revoked? He has stolen enough money, let his buddies take care of him.

No wonder Dems are so interested in an aborted asassination plan outed more than 7 years ago…any diversion they can find is needed.

Harry Schell on July 15, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Unethical

BigMike252 on July 15, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Is there a Nobel Prize for getting away with sh*t?

whitetop on July 15, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Makes me wonder. How loud will Murtha sing, about his colleagues in the House, and within his own party, once faced with a lil jail time himself?

capejasmine on July 15, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Why is Obama’s Justice Department going after Murtha?

Skandia Recluse on July 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Good question. Perhaps Murtha throws a baseball like a man?

infidel4life on July 15, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Good question. Perhaps Murtha throws a baseball like a man?

infidel4life on July 15, 2009 at 12:42 PM

ROFL!!!

capejasmine on July 15, 2009 at 12:44 PM

You know who I despise even more than Murtha?

The people who keep sending him back to Congress time after time. Industry – coal, steel, railroads – left his district long ago. But rather than sell up and move on, his constituents are happy to suck off the taxpayer teat in cushy jobs with the new #1 industry there: government.

guntotinglibertarian on July 15, 2009 at 12:47 PM

I will celebrate the day when this miserable, angry, corrupt prick is dragged out of his office in handcuffs.

UltimateBob on July 15, 2009 at 11:05 AM

It’d be sweet beyond compare if Feinstein, Leahy, Kennedy, Durbin, Reid, Dodd and, uh, well, for starters, them with Murtha. That’d go a long way to improving our Congress.

Lourdes on July 15, 2009 at 12:55 PM

I keep getting comments disappeared…it’s a mystery to me.

Lourdes on July 15, 2009 at 12:56 PM

If the FBI was for real, Murtha would have been gone a long time ago. More theater.

JiangxiDad on July 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Exactly, the FBI are show boaters. They’re lefties like the CIA. All corrupt. Been that way since LBJ had J Edgar kill JFK and J Edgar was modeling evening dresses.

Jeff from WI on July 15, 2009 at 12:58 PM

infidel4life on July 15, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Or the FBI is ignoring Murtha because the real target of Obama’s DOJ is the Pentagon procurement system; to spotlight the need for ‘reform’, and to justify Obama getting ‘his people’ put in charge of procurement.

Time will tell.

Skandia Recluse on July 15, 2009 at 1:08 PM

I suspect that Murtha may decide to retire first, though, especially if anyone else begins singing.

Retire to a federal prison.

Johan Klaus on July 15, 2009 at 1:10 PM

I don’t think they’ve put anyone away since Rostenkowski, and you know how many criminals have been in office since then.

Jeff from WI on July 15, 2009 at 1:27 PM

This scum sucking turd is giving respectable red necks a bad reputation.

Cybergeezer on July 15, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Gee, I wish I could steal millions from the taxpayers for years and years and then, when I finally get caught, be able to retire with my millions as a way out.

PUT HIM IN JAIL FOR YEARS AND YEARS. End this “ruling class” being under a different (weaker) standard BS.

CC

CapedConservative on July 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Are the voters in his district big into inbreeding to keep voting this crook in?

Jeff from WI on July 15, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Is Pennsylvania one of those advanced states in which felons can vote from Jail?

burt on July 15, 2009 at 2:31 PM

I hope that the FBI probes this fat porker so often that if somebody picks up a pencil within his eyesight, Murtha bends over.

This loud, venal scumbag is not going to ever do the nation’s business as long as he is doing his own business, his brother’s business, his nephew’s business, his friends’ business as well as buying votes with $200,000,000 in government funds for the tiny airport in his district.

ExpressoBold on July 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM

If Murtha was a Repub…he’d of been in Federal Prison 2 years ago. WTF,over?!

Jed1899 on July 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM

A federal prison in Texas would be nice..Fry baby fry the fat traitor bastard.

generouse on July 15, 2009 at 2:59 PM

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE start reporting on this crook Ianieri’s connections with Rep. Patrick Murphy as well!!!

Murphy is my congresscritter and Ianieri lives in my town. I am convinced that both of Murphy’s campaigns have been financed largely by Murtha’s corrupt machine. Murphy quietly donated all of his contributions from Ianieri to charioty, but he got an earmark directly for Ianieri’s firm in last year’s defense appropriations bill. If this investigation continues, both of these corrupt bastards may go down in flames.

rockmom on July 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM

He’ll never be prosecuted. THe best we can hope for is a sudden cardiac arrest followed by a head dive into a bowl of hot chicken soup in the congressional dining room.

Jeff from WI on July 15, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Got a rope?

juanito on July 15, 2009 at 4:09 PM

This instance perfectly illustrates how business is done in DC.

Murtha is a crook, just like he was in ABSCAM in 1981.

molonlabe28 on July 15, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Here is our local paper’s story, which notes the Murphy connection and his lame denial:

Doylestown man pleads guilty to kickback scheme

By: Jenna Portnoy
Bucks County Courier Times

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The former chief executive of a Doylestown defense contractor with ties to U.S. Rep. John Murtha pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to a kickback scheme and defrauding the Air Force, and promised to cooperate in an ongoing criminal investigation.

Federal prosecutors said Richard S. Ianieri solicited kickbacks from a subcontractor in Pennsylvania while he headed Coherent Systems International Corp. Ianieri also was charged with filing false purchase orders related to an Air Force contract in Florida.

Ianieri, of Doylestown, pleaded guilty to both charges during a hearing in Pensacola, Fla., and is scheduled to be sentenced in September. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

A nine-page plea agreement that Ianieri signed says the government will urge a lighter prison sentence if he provides substantial assistance “in the investigation or prosecution of other persons who have committed offenses.”

Following Ianieri’s plea, Murtha spokesman Matthew Mazonkey said it is not the Democratic congressman’s job to oversee companies and that “if they broke the law, then they should be held accountable for their actions.”

Murtha has directed hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts over the years to Coherent and other defense contractors through a process called earmarking.

“This case isn’t about earmarks,” said Mazonkey. “It’s about individuals within the defense industry and the Defense Department accused of defrauding the government.”

Executives at Coherent and two other companies named in court papers in Ianieri’s Florida case have donated over $95,000 to Murtha’s re-election campaigns and his political action committee since 2002, according to Federal Election Commission records. One of the companies is Kuchera Industries Inc. of Windber, about 10 miles from Murtha’s political home base of Johnstown.

A federal bill of information filed in Pittsburgh states that Ianieri was given two kickbacks totaling nearly $200,000 from a company identified only as “K” for “improperly obtaining and rewarding favorable treatment” regarding a defense subcontract.

In an April 2006 news release, Murtha announced that Coherent and Kuchera Defense Systems were working “virtually as one company” on 14 contracts worth $30 million to develop high-tech military gear.

Kuchera’s offices were raided by federal agents in January. Kuchera built high-tech military components that Coherent designed.

Ianieri and the Kucheras have also donated to Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, who represents Bucks County as well as parts of Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia. This year, Murphy secured a $2.4 million earmark for Coherent, which was acquired by Argon ST two years ago.

Murphy plans to donate to local charities $21,400 in campaign cash from Ianieri, his wife, a Coherent employee and the employee’s wife as well as Kuchera’s principals – just as he did nearly $28,000 from The PMA Group, a defunct lobbying group under investigation for arranging illegal political contributions.

On March 6, 2008, four members of the Kuchera family and Ianieri each gave Murphy $2,300, the maximum allowed by campaign finance rules. Ianieri also gave Murphy $3,000 in the two prior years for a total of $5,300.

Coherent opened an office on South Main Street in Doylestown in January 2007, according to the occupancy permit – the same month Murphy took office.

Murphy has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has repeatedly denied any improper connection between campaign donations and earmarks.

The Florida charges concern a Coherent contract given through the Air Force Research Laboratory to deliver four Ground Mobile Gateway Systems, which are designed to help soldiers and pilots trace U.S. units and cut down on friendly fire.

The United States paid Coherent $5.9 million to build the systems. According to federal court papers, Coherent subsequently paid about $1.8 million to subcontractors for the delivery of software and materials that were not part of the contract.

Ianieri was charged with presenting purchase orders to the Air Force that he knew were “false, fictitious and fraudulent,” court records state.

Murtha also has ties to lobbyists for some of the companies under scrutiny. His brother worked from 2004 to 2006 for KSA Consulting, of Rockville, Md., which lobbied for Coherent. Another lobbying firm, PMA Group, represented two of the companies involved in the Florida investigation.

Founded by a lobbyist who has long been close to Murtha, PMA and its defense contractor clients have donated over $2 million to Murtha’s re-election campaigns and to his political action committee over the years.

Ianieri’s attorney, W. Thomas Dillard, of Knoxville, Tenn., declined to comment after the hearing. He would not address questions regarding whether Murtha had sponsored an $8.2 million earmark that included the money for Coherent.

Dillard also refused to say whether his client could implicate Murtha or other members of Congress in allegedly illegal conduct.

rockmom on July 15, 2009 at 4:30 PM

I just talked to Our Lord..(the REAL one, not Obama)..and He’s assured me Murtha is going to be sweating it in hell next to Ted K. soon.

Jeff from WI on July 15, 2009 at 4:32 PM

No wonder Obama is trying to rush his agenda through the legislature so quickly; it’s only a matter of time before the investigations catch up to enough Democrats that they lose their majorities in both houses.

Theophile on July 15, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Murtha’s re-election is the reason I have no faith in America’s future.

MaiDee on July 15, 2009 at 11:25 AM

yep

Wade on July 15, 2009 at 6:07 PM