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Wade Claims To Have Given Info On Five Lawmakers To DOJ

Mitchell Wade, the former defense contractor who pleaded guilty to paying $1.8 million in bribes to imprisoned former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), gave information on five more members of Congress to the Justice Department, according to his lawyer.

In addition to pleading guilty to bribing Cunningham, Wade has admitted to funneling $78,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.) and former Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.), as well as steering gifts to Defense Department employees in an effort to get them to help his company, MZM Inc. Wade paid a $1 million to the Federal Election Commission over these improper contributions. There is no evidence that Harris or Goode, who lost re-election bids in 2006 and 2008 respectively, engaged in any illegal behavior in response to the contributions, according to DOJ.

Wade's lawyers are trying to avoid a prison sentence for their client, arguing that Wade deserves home detention. Federal prosecutors are seeking four years in prison for Wade.

Wade, his lawyers said, has acknowledged his "serious crimes," but has otherwise lived a life "characterized by loyalty and dedication to his country, devotion to his family and compassion for others, and that his cooperation with the government has been truly extraordinary." They claim that Wade's cooperation with the government led to guilty pleas or convictions for seven other individuals.

Wade is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 15.

Justice Dept. lawyers, in their own filing on Wednesday, acknowledged that Wade "provided extremely extensive cooperation with the government's investigation" of Cunningham and other matters, but they also note that Wade's "greed, corruption, disdain for the rules that bind honest citizens - be they government contractors, officials, or private individuals - is staggering. In the process, Wade also became a very wealthy man. He must now be held accountable."

MZM, Wade's former firm, received over $150 million in government contracts from 2002 to 2005, with Cunningham earmarking a large portion of that total. Beginning in 2001, according to court documents, Wade started bribing Cunningham, eventually buying Cunningham's house for an inflated prived, buying the ex-lawmaker a yacht and other antiques, footing the bill for trips and meals, and paying Cunningham more than $500,000 through a company that the California Republican owned.

Brent Wilkes, another Cunningham briber, was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Cunningham is serving a 100-month prison term, the longest ever given to a member of Congress.

"In sum, Wade's corruption was no momentary lapse of judgment," prosecutors wrote. "It was well thought out, carefully implemented, pervasive and highly effective at enriching Wade at the expense of honest government that the public hopefully expects and certainly deserves."

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