- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The chief executive of a company that won a half-billion dollars in IRS work then became the public face of a set-aside contract scandal last year was charged Tuesday in the murder of his estranged wife in Loudoun County, Va.

The arrest of Braulio Castillo came barely a year after he testified to Congress about how his company won questionable technology contracts from the IRS, after a friend inside the agency steered work his way, according to congressional investigators.

But it was how Mr. Castillo qualified for the contracts in the first place that raised the ire of Democrats and Republicans alike.

He used a fairly minor injury suffered during his time at a military prep school to qualify for a special veteran’s set aside status, which then enabled his contracting company — Strong Castle Inc. — to compete for lucrative federal contracts, according to a probe by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

While numerous lawmakers expressed outrage, Mr. Castillo was subject to sharp questioning from Rep. Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois Democrat who lost her legs and the use of her right arm as a helicopter pilot in Iraq in 2004.

“I’m sorry that twisting your ankle in [prep] school has now come back to hurt you in such a painful way — if not also opportune for you to gain the status for your business as you were trying to compete for contracts,” she said.

Mr. Castillo is being held without bond after his arrest Tuesday by the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with first degree murder after deputies found his wife’s body in her home on March 20.

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