Two Army Corps employees arrested in alleged government bribery case

Tuesday - 10/4/2011, 2:41pm EDT

By NEDRA PICKLER and ERIC TUCKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and two others have been arrested in a bribery and kickback scheme, authorities said.

The top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia, Ronald Machen, planned to discuss the arrests at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

The names of the defendants were not immediately released.

The other two under arrest are the director of contracts for a Virginia-based company and the son of one of the Army Corps employees.

A law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity says the scam involved more than $20 million in bribes and kickback payments, and promised payments.

The official was not authorized to discuss specifics about the case before the U.S. attorney's announcement.

Curry Graham, director of public affairs for the Army Corps, said at least one of the Army Corps employees was arrested at work. He confirmed that search warrants were presented at the agency's offices Tuesday, but referred other questions to the Department of Justice.

"We hold our employees to a high standard, and we cooperate with all federal authorities to make sure that we get to the bottom of all these cases and allegations," Graham said.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)