Two brothers whose defense business flourished with the help of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) plan to plead guilty next week to overbilling the Defense Department for their work and paying kickbacks to win business, according to their attorneys and court records.
William and Ron Kuchera, who together owned Kuchera Defense Systems and Kuchera Industries in Windber, Pa., are accused by federal prosecutors of billing the military $650,000 for supplies they never provided and conspiring to inflate their bills for other military work.
Murtha, a powerful Democrat who died in 2010 from an infection he contracted during a gallbladder surgery, had previously helped steer $50 million in earmarked funds and contracts to Kuchera-owned companies. The Kucheras and their employees donated a total of $106,000 to Murtha’s reelection campaigns.
The Kucheras had been paid to provide supplies for the Ground Mobile Gateway System, a communication system the Air Force used to coordinate airstrikes requested by ground troops.