Share This Page

Feds seeking $900K from Somerset contractor that received earmarks from Murtha

| Monday, March 25, 2013, 4:03 p.m.

Federal prosecutors are seeking $900,000 from a Somerset County defense contractor that received earmarks from the late Rep. John Murtha.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton on Monday filed a civil complaint against Windber-based Kuchera Defense Systems Inc. and its owners, brothers Bill and Ronald Kuchera, claiming they illegally obtained the money through wire fraud.

The brothers, the complaint says, “knowingly and with intent to defraud,” obtained contracts with the government worth more than $1 million. Hickton said the company inflated billing rates and billed the government for items never produced.

In 2010, the government twice suspended Kuchera Defense Systems from entering into contracts for offering kickbacks to obtain favorable treatment in awarding a subcontractor.

Before his death in February 2010, Murtha, a Johnstown Democrat, steered more than $50 million in earmarks to several companies owned by the Kucheras, whose employees donated money to Murtha's campaigns. Murtha denied links between the campaign donations and the spending earmarks.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.