Three people involved in a Navy kickback scheme that misappropriated up to $20 million of government contract funds will plead guilty in exchange for lighter sentences.
Alleged ringleader Ralph M. Mariano will admit to charges of conspiracy, theft of government property and tax evasion, reports The Providence Journal. Mariano's confession comes one day after his girlfriend, Warwick lawyer Mary O'Rourke pleaded guilty to charges of theft of government property. O'Rourke will be offered probation, on the condition that Mariano admits guilt.
Mariano, 54, of Arlington, VA, a former engineer with the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), faces 20 years in prison for his crimes of accepting bribes as a public official from Portsmouth resident Russell E. Spencer.
Mariano allegedly accepted kickbacks of naval funds from Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT), a Middletown company.
Ralph Mariano Jr., Mariano's father, pleaded guilty on May 15 to four counts of income-tax evasion in connection with the kickback scheme. The three were scheduled to go to trial next week.