- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 8, 2006

BALTIMORE (AP) — A former construction company executive charged in a bribery scandal involving a former state senator also took $1 million in a separate kickback scheme, according to court documents.

W. David Stoffregen, former president of Poole and Kent construction company, and another company executive reputedly got vendors to submit false invoices to the company, and the vendors paid the men kickbacks, according to legal documents unsealed Thursday.

Mr. Stoffregen, with former state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, Baltimore Democrat, and wife Mary Patricia Bromwell, was indicted in October on federal charges of influence peddling.

The 30-count indictment charges that during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mr. Stoffregen provided benefits to Mr. Bromwell in exchange for his agreement to use his influence to help the Baltimore-based firm, which has won multimillion-dollar local and state contracts.

Mr. Stoffregen also is accused of giving Mrs. Bromwell more than $192,000 from 2001 to 2003 for a no-show job at Namco Services Corp.

Mr. Stoffregen was fired from Poole and Kent last year.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz ruled Thursday that Mr. Stoffregen was not entitled to have his legal bills for the criminal case paid by Poole and Kent’s parent company.

In legal briefs in the civil case, company attorneys presented evidence of another fraud reputedly committed by Mr. Stoffregen and Michael C. Forti.

According to court papers, vendors were paid for the false invoices, then kicked back money to Mr. Stoffregen in the form of cash, a wall safe installed in his house, as many as 20 televisions, a gazebo, a jukebox and $40,000 in liquor.

Cash proceeds were split among the vendors, Mr. Stoffregen and Mr. Forti, Poole and Kent attorneys said.

“Stoffregen, together with confederates, devised and executed a scheme whereby they stole more than $1 million,” the attorneys wrote in the court documents.

Mr. Bromwell is not mentioned in the court papers unsealed Thursday.

Mr. Stoffregen’s attorney called the charges “shameful.” Mr. Forti’s attorney declined to comment.

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