- Associated Press - Saturday, June 28, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A South Carolina National Guard official has pleaded guilty in Birmingham, Alabama, to steering freight contracts to an Alabama broker.

U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance says 52-year-old Timothy Wooten of Lexington, South Carolina, entered a plea Friday to charges of wire fraud and bribery involving freight transportation contracts totaling nearly $322,000. Wooten’s plea agreement says he overrode an electronic system that generates a list of best values for carriers and manually awarded 55 contracts to two Tuscaloosa-area companies. The agreement says a freight broker for the two companies paid Wooten nearly $30,000 in bribes.

The plea agreement does not name the companies or the broker.

Wooten is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 15. Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and bribery carries up to 15 years.

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