CRIME

US Army contracting official pleads guilty to bribery charge

A contracting representative for the U.S. Army has pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to a federal bribery charge involving fraudulent invoices submitted by South Korean contractors.

The U.S. attorney's office says 50-year-old Marcus Flowers of Enterprise, Alabama, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit bribery.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson set sentencing for Sept. 11. The offense carries a maximum of five years in prison.

Flowers was responsible for approving invoices from contractors who install closed-circuit television systems at U.S. military installations in South Korea.

Prosecutors say he accepted bribes worth at least $170,000 and up to more than $500,000 in cash and goods in return for approving payments to contractors who did not install the systems or installed cheap inferior models instead of those required by contracts.