WASHINGTON – FBI agents are investigating whether a defense contractor provided prostitutes, limousines and hotel suites to a lawmaker who has been convicted on bribery charges, two federal officials said Friday.
Investigators have contacted Washington-area escort services, two hotels and a limousine company in recent weeks, one official said.
The allegations were raised by Mitchell Wade, another defense contractor who also has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the bribery conspiracy involving former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the officials said. Cunningham is serving a prison term of eight years, four months after pleading guilty in November to taking $2.4 million in homes, yachts and other bribes.
Wade is cooperating with investigators as part of his plea agreement in February. He has told them that Brent Wilkes, a San Diego defense contractor who has been identified as a co-conspirator, secured prostitutes, limousines and suites at two Washington hotels for Cunningham, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.
Wilkes, founder of ADCS Inc., has not been charged. Mike Lipman, his attorney, did not return messages left seeking comment. Reginald Brown, Wade's attorney, declined comment Friday.
One official said agents have been checking out investigative leads, but so far have been unable to confirm that, even if true, the prostitutes were part of the bribery scheme. Investigators have not turned up evidence that other lawmakers were involved, the official said.
The investigation, spawned by reports of the former California congressman's extravagant lifestyle, is continuing both in Washington and San Diego, the officials said.
Justice Department and FBI spokesmen declined to comment on the investigation.
The allegations involving prostitutes have previously been reported by The Wall Street Journal and The San Diego Union-Tribune.