Crime, Sci-Tech

Kingsville, North East men charged in bribery scheme at Aberdeen Proving Ground

BALTIMORE, MD—A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging two men in connection with a bribery scheme at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Jason Edmonds, 43, of North East, has been charged with conspiracy and bribery. Co-defendant John Conigliaro, 60, of Kingsville, was separately charged with conspiracy on February 1, 2022.

The Indictment against Edmonds was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Christopher Dillard of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General; and Special Agent in Charge L. Scott Moreland of the Army Criminal Investigation Division.

According to the indictment, Edmonds was employed by the Army as a Research Biologist at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center (CB Center) located at the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). The CCDC CB Center was the nation’s principal research and development center for non-medical chemical and biological weapons defense. The CB Center developed technology in the areas of detection, protection, and decontamination.

According to the indictment, from 2012 to 2019, Edmonds accepted cash and other financial benefits from John Conigliaro, the owner and CEO of EISCO, Inc. in exchange for favorable action on CB Center contracts. The indictment alleges that in July 2013, Edmonds directed a $300,000 CB Center project to EISCO. The indictment also alleges that, three months later, in October 2013, Conigliaro gave Edmonds $40,000 in cash so that Edmonds could purchase two rental real estate properties.

Once Edmonds purchased the rental properties, the indictment alleges that Conigliaro paid for thousands of dollars of renovations to the rental properties. The indictment also claims that Edmonds executed a “Promissory Note,” in which Edmonds wrote that he repaid Conigliaro a portion of the funds that Conigliaro had given him with CB Center projects.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that from 2016 to 2018, Edmonds directed four CB Center projects to EISCO. Over that same time period, Conigliaro allegedly paid for more than $30,000 in renovations to Edmonds’ personal residence.

Conigliaro is scheduled to appear for an initial appearance and arraignment on February 24, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.

If convicted, Edmonds and Conigliaro face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for conspiracy, and Edmonds faces fifteen years in federal prison for bribery.

Photo via U.S. Army

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