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An employee of MZM Inc., a D.C.-based defense contractor whose owner was convicted of bribing a congressman, has been charged with violating campaign contribution laws, according to a court document filed June 29. Richard Berglund was charged with one misdemeanor count of unlawfully making campaign contributions in the name of someone else to “Representative A,” according to an information charge filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. A search of Berglund’s 2005 campaign contributions in the Center for Responsive Politics’ database shows that his contributions to Rep. Virgil Goode Jr. (R-Va.) follow the pattern of outlined donations to “Representative A” in the charging document. The charges against Berglund more closely tie Goode, a five-term member of Congress who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, to the expanding public-corruption probe into campaign donations. Goode’s office, Berglund, and his attorney, Thomas Connolly of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, could not be reached for comment. Berglund was employed as a facility director at the Martinsville, Va., site of MZM, which until recently was owned by Mitchell Wade, a longtime ally of former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.), who was convicted of accepting bribes and stepped down from Congress late last year. Wade also pleaded guilty in February to illegally influencing Pentagon contracting officials and attempting to bribe Cunningham. In October, Athena Innovative Solutions bought MZM. Athena officials did not return phone calls. According to the government charge, around March 2005, Berglund met with Wade in his Washington office, where Wade gave Berglund cash and asked him to use it to contribute to the campaign committee of “Representative A” in the name of Berglund, his wife, and other MZM employees who worked at the Martinsville facility. Berglund then used $3,000 of Wade’s cash and $1,000 of his own to make a $2,000 campaign contribution in his name and another $2,000 in his wife’s name. He also provided two other employees with the same sum, and the two later donated that amount to the campaign, according to the filing. Wade handed the four checks to “Representative A” at a March 4, 2005, fund-raising event, according to the charges. MZM has long had close ties to Goode, and its employees were his largest campaign contributors in the 2004 election cycle, donating a total of $39,551, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Goode also was a key sponsor of a provision in a 2003 defense bill that provided funds for the Foreign Supplier Assessment Center, a military center in Goode’s district. MZM was later hired to manage the center, but Goode issued a statement denying any connection. Goode offered to return any donations from MZM employees.
Anna Palmer contributed to this report. Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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