Defense Kickbacks

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A former government contractor for Eglin Air Force Base in the Panhandle will serve four years' probation for his part in a scheme to defraud the government.

A federal judge sentenced Theodore Sumrall to probation Tuesday after noting the chemical engineer's cooperation with prosecutors in a wider investigation of Air Force contractors.

He had faced up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines after pleading guilty in June to two counts of destroying records and helping a lab supervisor hide his connection to Sumrall's company.

Sumrall is among several defendants cooperating with prosecutors investigating alleged wrongdoing by contractors with ties to U.S. Representative John Murtha. The Pennsylvania Democrat is chairman
of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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