An ex-Navy official accused of selling inside information on defense contracts to the Wedtech company agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of conspiring to receive bribes and filing false income tax returns.
Richard Ramirez, 40, former director of the Navy's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, faces a maximum 16 years in prison and fines of $520,000 on the charges filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Baruch Weiss.He agreed Thursday to plead guilty to charges he conspired with an associate to receive $60,000 in cash bribes from Wedtech, a small South Bronx manufacturing company that rose to become a million dollar defense contractor through bribery, Weiss said.
Ramirez was charged with tax evasion because he failed to include the bribes on his 1982 and 1983 income tax returns.
The Clifton, Va., man helped minority-owned and operated businesses obtain government contracts without competitive bidding under the Small Business Act.
Wedtech, ostensibly headed by a Hispanic businessman, won a $135 million contract for pontoons through his efforts.
In addition to aiding Wedtech in exchange for cash bribes, Ramirez admitted taking $120,000 from a company called United Chem Con.
As a result of his work, United Chem Con received a $54 million contract for military hardware.
Mario Moreno, former executive vice president of Wedtech, testified earlier this year in the federal Wedtech bribery trial of New York Rep. Mario Biaggi and six others that Ramirez kept the company informed of "everything that was going on."