The ringleader of the largest federal contracting bribery and kickback scheme ever uncovered has pleaded guilty Thursday, U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. announced.
Kerry Khan, a former program manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, pleaded guilty to federal charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering in a scheme that allegedly involved more than $30 million in bribes and kickback payments.
Federal investigators said they stopped the conspirators from steering a government contract worth up to $1 billion back to themselves.
"Kerry Khan pleaded guilty to being a thief," said Ronald Hosko, special agent in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. "Not just a common thief, but an uncommon thief."
Instead of using a gun and a mask, Hosko said, Khan used a security clearance, government accesss and telephone to rob the taxpayers.
Khan, of Alexandria faces up to 15 years in prison for the bribery charge and 20 years for the conspiracy.
Khan's son, Lee A. Khan, 31, of Fairfax, also pleaded guilty to money laundering charge in the case on Thursday.
The father and son were among four men arrested in October, following an investigating into what Machen called one of the most brazen corruption schemes in the history of federal contracting. Eight people have pleaded guilty so far, and the investigation is ongoing, Machen said.