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Navy sealift command worker admits to taking bribe

NORFOLK, Va. — A civilian employee of the Military Sealift Command pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to taking a $25,000 bribe from a contractor in exchange for steering government work to the company.

Kenny E. Toy, 53, of Northern Virginia, said the bribery scheme involved several other people, including some from Hampton Roads, and topped more than $100,000.

The bribes began in 2005 and continued, sporadically, with multiple contractors into 2013, according to court records. Alleged co-conspirators were identified in the records only by their initials: DAH, RJS, SBM and TSM, and the companies involved only by the letters A, B, D and V.

Toy admitted that he not only took cash payments but also received gifts from contractors, such as flat-screen televisions and an Outer Banks vacation.

The Military Sealift Command is based in Washington but has ships and headquarters personnel in Norfolk. The command has 110 ships that provide transportation services for the Navy and other defense units.

Toy, a telecommunications engineer, began receiving $3,000 a month in March 2005 from a contractor and in return steered subcontract work to that company, the court records say.

In the ensuing years, others were recruited into the scheme. In May 2009, for example, Toy received a $50,000 lump sum payment in exchange for funneling contracts to two companies, the records say.

The scheme began to unravel in 2010 when an ex-wife of one of the contractors threatened to expose the bribes because she was not receiving child support payments. Later that year, the husband demanded hush money from Toy and others involved, and ended up receiving $40,000 to keep quiet, the records say.

It's not clear from the records how the authorities learned of the scheme, but the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service eventually got involved.

After Wednesday's court proceeding, Toy and his attorneys declined to comment. U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Miller allowed Toy to go free pending sentencing June 6.

tim.mcglone@pilotonline.com
 

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