- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) - Two ex-contractors have admitted their roles in a scheme to submit false billing invoices and pay kickbacks to two former Bristol Virginia Utilities Authority executives.

Prosecutors say 45-year-old James Todd Edwards of Columbia, South Carolina, and 63-year-old Michael Albert Clark of Colbert, Georgia, each pleaded guilty to a single conspiracy count Monday in federal court in Abingdon.

Prosecutors say Edwards submitted invoices for work that wasn’t completed by his telecommunications firm and paid at least $200,000 in kickbacks.

Court records show Clark submitted false invoices for his consulting business, paid $106,000 in kickbacks and deducted the payments as business expenses on tax returns.

Edwards, Clark and the former executives each face up to five years in prison at sentencing. The executives entered guilty pleas last month to conspiracy charges.

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