Friday, February 24, 2006

Another Domino Falls

Mitchell Wade, one of former congressman and soon to be incarcerated felon, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, partners in crime is expected to plead guilty today in a plea bargain deal with federal prosecutors. The San Diego Union Tribune carries this AP story on Wade's expected plea.

Mitchell Wade was expected to enter his guilty plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the officials said. They spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the charges against Wade and the plea agreement have not been made public.


Among Wade's gifts to Cunningham was the purchase of the congressman's California home for a price inflated by $700,000. Cunningham, 64, used the money
to move into a $2.55 million, seven-bath mansion in the exclusive San Diego County community of Rancho Santa Fe.

A bribe of a $140,000 in the form of a 42-foot yacht, the Duke-Stir, brought Wade an offer of $16 million in contracts, according to Cunningham's sentencing memorandum, which calls for a 10-year prison term.

Wade bought Cunningham $190,000 in antiques over two years from one store alone, records show. Cunningham used the antiques “to feather his nest in San Diego,” prosecutors said.


Besides Wade, the three other coconspirators are: Brent Wilkes, founder of San Diego-based ADCS Inc.; New York businessman Thomas Kontogiannis; and John T. Michael, Kontogiannis' nephew.

Two down, three to go.