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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fate of Alex Cho, cooperator in bribery case, uncertain after Justice Department reneges on promises -- By Jim McElhatton, The Washington Times

Two years ago this month, Alex Cho, a chief technology officer at a Northern Virginia contracting company, went undercover for the FBI.

For seven months, he talked with agents just about every day, wearing a wire to collect evidence in an investigation that produced historic results: the dismantling of the biggest bribery schemes in federal contracting history.

But with the ringleader and other co-defendants in the $30 million scam already sentenced, Cho's fate remains uncertain after pleading guilty to bribery charges in 2011.

In a court filing this week, his attorney says the Justice Department now is reneging on key promises prosecutors made to his client to secure his cooperation in the first place — including helping him avoid deportation.

"The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia now sends not just to the key cooperator in the most successful bribery case it has ever handled, but to all potential cooperators, an important message: don't trust what we tell you," defense attorney William Cowden wrote in a sharply worded memo late Tuesday.

Prosecutors say it was Cho who broke their trust.

The dispute marks a sharp falling-out between prosecutors and the contracting executive who took agents into a stunningly corrupt ring of Army Corps of Engineers officials.

Cho's case also shows how fast informants hoping for leniency by working undercover can fall out of favor by the time their own sentencings approach — which can be years after their cooperation ends.

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