published Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Ex-Army sergeant pleads guilty to taking bribes

KNOXVILLE — A former U.S. Army staff sergeant has pleaded guilty in a bribery scheme involving thousands of dollars from military contractors while he was deployed in Iraq.

Richard A. Gilliland of Fayetteville, Tenn., pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Knoxville to one count of conspiracy to accept illegal bribes.

Justice Department officials say that the American representatives of two Iraq-based companies paid Gilliland to help them get military contracts. At the time, Gilliland was responsible for paying contractors for civil investment projects in Iraq.

The 44-year-old Gilliland admitted receiving about $27,200 and a laptop in 2007 in exchange for helping the companies in the contracting process. Officials say he wired the money back to the U.S after receiving the bribes.

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