Army Employee Alleged to Have Received Cash and Home Renovations in Exchange for Government Contracts
A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Jason Edmonds, age 43, of North East, Maryland, with conspiracy and bribery. Co-defendant John Conigliaro, age 60, of Kingsville, Maryland was separately charged with conspiracy in a 1 February 2022 filing.
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.
As stated in the Indictment, Edmonds was employed by the Army as a Research Biologist at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center), formerly known as the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, located at the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). The DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center is the nation’s principal research and development center for non-medical chemical and biological weapons defense. The DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center develops technology in the areas of detection, protection, and decontamination.
According to the seven-count 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 DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center contracts. For example, the Indictment alleges that in July 2013, Edmonds directed a $300,000 DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center project to EISCO. The Indictment 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 alleges 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 DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center projects.
Additionally, the Indictment alleges that from 2016 to 2018, Edmonds directed four DEVCOM Chemical Biological 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 before U.S. District Judge Deborah L. Boardman.
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. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, and the Army Criminal Investigation Division for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew P. Phelps and Harry Gruber, who are prosecuting the federal case.