Construction Company CEO Admits to Bribing APG Army Biochemist Researcher for Government Contracts
Defendant Financed the Purchase of Public Official’s Two Rental Properties and Paid for Home Improvements
Baltimore, Maryland – John R. Conigliaro, age 60, of Kingsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to bribe a public official.
The guilty plea 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, Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge L. Scott Moreland of the Army Criminal Investigation Division.
Conigliaro is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of EISCO, Inc. EISCO provides general construction services, including fixed and portable biochemical laboratories.
According to his guilty plea, from 2012 to 2019, Conigliaro bribed an Army Research Biologist (Public Official 1), who worked at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center (CB Center), located on Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Maryland. The CCDC CB Center is the nation’s principal research and development center for non-medical chemical and biological weapons defense. The CB Center develops technology in the areas of detection, protection, and decontamination. Conigliaro bribed Public Official 1 with a stream of benefits including cash loans, payments for renovations to rental properties owned by public official 1, payments for renovations to Public Official 1’s personal residence, and other things of value in exchange for influencing CB Center projects to EISCO.
For example, in October 2013, after EISCO received its first payment of $150,000 for a government project, Conigliaro gave cash and a $40,000 zero-interest loan to Public Official 1 to finance the purchase of two rental properties. Once Public Official 1 purchased the rental properties, Conigliaro paid for thousands of dollars of renovations to the rental properties. Further Public Official 1 executed a “Promissory Note,” in which Public Official 1 wrote that he repaid Conigliaro a portion of the funds that Conigliaro had given him with CB Center projects.
Additionally, from 2016 to 2018, Public Official 1 directed three CB Center projects to EISCO. During the performance of one of those projects, Conigliaro spent approximately half of the time not performing work but being “on call.” Over that same time period, Conigliaro paid for more than $30,000 in renovations to Public Official 1’s personal residence, including more than more than $20,000 to renovate Public Official 1’s kitchen, and more than $16,000 to replace the siding on Public Official 1’s personal residence.
According to the guilty plea, from July 2012 to 2019, Conigliaro paid more than $95,000 in bribes to Public Official 1, and over that same time period, Public Official 1 directed more than $1 million of contract awards to EISCO.
Conigliaro faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison followed by up to three of supervised release for conspiracy to bribe a public official. U.S. District Judge Deborah L. Boardman has scheduled sentencing for May 10, 2022, at 10 a.m.
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.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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