Brent R. Wilkes

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Brent R. Wilkes is a Bush Pioneer who raised at least $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004. According to Federal Election Commission filings, Wilkes and his wife have donated $139,806 to politicians since 2001, not including the $100,000 Wilkes raised as an elite fundraising Pioneer for Bush in 2004. [1]

Wilkes is the founder of defense contractor ADCS, Inc., "a San Diego IT services company." [2]


Profiles

In Spring 2005, Brent Wilkes was identified as president of the Wilkes Corporation: earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from San Diego State University in 1977 and attended the SDSU Graduate School of Business. "Based in San Diego, Wilkes Corporation provides leadership, knowledge and personnel for technology and defense-related corporations. The Wilkes Corporation is the parent company to several other California corporations including:" ADCS, Inc., Group W Advisors, Inc., Group W Media Productions, Inc., Group W Events, Inc., Paradigm Knowledge Management, Inc., Group W Holdings, Inc., and Group W Transportation, Inc. [3]

Affiliations

Campaign contributions

Brent Wilkes "gave more than $840,000 in contributions to 32 House members or candidates, campaign-finance records show. He flew Republican lawmakers on his private jet and hired lobbyists with close ties to those lawmakers," Matt Kelley and Jim Drinkard reported November 30, 2005, for USA Today.

"Duke" Cunningham

Brent Wilkes is the defense contractor who "allowed" Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham the "use of a 14.5-foot, 170-horsepower fiberglass boat several years ago when it was docked near Cunningham's yacht in Washington, D.C.," Dean Calbreath and Jerry Kammer wrote September 10, 2005, for Copley News Service.

Like Cunningham "campaign contributor and close friend" [7] Mitchell J. Wade, Wilkes "received Cunningham's support in his efforts to secure federal contracts" for ADCS, Inc., "which converts paper documents into a digital format. Since 1997, Wilkes and other ADCS insiders have given nearly $70,000 to Cunningham and his political action committee," Calbreath and Kammer said. "During that period, Wilkes' company gained at least $80 million in contracts from the Pentagon."

Cunningham corruption case trial

Wilkes convicted

Wilkes was convicted on November 5, 2007 on all 13 counts of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, and wire fraud. The individual counts carry maximum sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years. His attorney, Geragos, said "I don’t believe this case was proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Obviously I’m very disappointed. I think he shares the confidence that we’ll get it reversed."[1]

U.S. attorney in San Diego, Karen Hewitt, said "This case demonstrates our firm commitment that those who bribe federal officials shall face criminal consequences for their wrongdoing." The jury forewoman said jurors were disappointed not to hear from Cunningham. "It would have been nice to hear his perspective on what happened, seeing that he’s at the center of all this," she said. The jury spent under four full days deliberating before returning the verdict.[2]

Geragos told the judge he intended to appeal on grounds that grand jury secrets were deliberately and illegally disclosed to the news media before Wilkes was indicted in February, 2007. He said he intended to subpoena at least two reporters to determine if the leaks came from the prosecution team. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns told Geragos his prospects for getting the verdict dismissed on only that basis were small.[3]

Attorneys representing Wilkes in a separate federal case said they may ask for him to remain free after sentencing in order to prepare for trial. In the second case, Wilkes was charged with offering former CIA executive director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, a childhood friend, a job and treating him to golf vacations in return for help getting contracts. Both men had pleaded not guilty to 30 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering.[4]

Wilkes searched

The August 18, 2005, San Diego area newspapers "reported the search by FBI, Internal Revenue Service and Defense Department agents" at both ADCS Inc. offices and "the home of its chief executive, Brent Wilkes, a major contributor to Republican politicians." Wilkes, who is "under investigation by a San Diego grand jury," is a former business associate of Wade, the head of MZM Inc. and a "former consultant to ADCS who met Cunningham through his work for the San Diego company, according to sources familiar with the relationship," Charles R. Babcock and R. Jeffrey Smith, reported in the Washington Post.

Meddling

"The Pentagon's inspector general previously investigated several ADCS contracts because of complaints 'alleging favoritism and inappropriate actions,' and he concluded in 1999 that they were awarded as the result of irregular procedures. Louis A. Kratz, an assistant deputy undersecretary of defense, said in a recent interview that he had requested the IG probe. Both Cunningham and Wilkes had called him seeking the release of funds for ADCS, he said," Babcock and Smith wrote. "Kratz said he had never before experienced anything close to their 'meddling' and 'arrogance.' Wilkes 'implied that it was his money,' Kratz said, though the funding was earmarked for a program, not a company. The document conversion program was later killed, Kratz said."

SourceWatch resources

External links

Profiles

  • "Governor Schwarzenegger Announces Appointments," Political Shirts.us, undated: "Brent Wilkes, 49, of Poway, has been appointed to the Del Mar Fair Board. He is the president of the Wilkes Corporation, which provides leadership, knowledge and personnel for technology and defense related corporations. This position does not require Senate confirmation and is unpaid. Wilkes is a Republican."

Articles & commentary


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