Maryland man pleads guilty to bribing army researcher

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland man has pleaded guilty to charges of bribing an Army research biologist in exchange for projects attributed to his company, a federal prosecutor has said.

John R. Conigliaro, 60, of Kingsville, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to bribe a public official, according to Maryland U.S. Attorney Erek Barron.

Conigliaro has a company that provides general construction services, including fixed and portable biochemical laboratories. From 2012 to 2019, he bribed a research biologist at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biology Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, according to the guilty plea. The APG is the nation’s primary research and development center for non-medical chemical and biological weapons defense.

Prosecutors said Conigliaro bribed the biologist with cash loans, payments for rental property renovations and other things in exchange for directing the center’s projects to his company. According to the guilty plea, Conigliaro paid more than $95,000 in bribes and the biologist awarded more than $1 million in contracts to the company.

Conigliaro is due to be sentenced in May. He faces up to five years in prison.

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