North County Times - Agents raid defense contractor linked to Cunningham

By: North County Times -

A Poway defense contractor linked to U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Escondido, was raided by federal agents Tuesday, the FBI in San Diego confirmed.

Agency spokesman Kiffa Shirley said FBI agents along with agents from the IRS and the Pentagon's Defense Criminal Investigative Service arrived at the company with a search warrant on Tuesday morning.

The agents were still at the company at 13970 Stowe Drive by late afternoon.

ACDS specializes in data capture and conversion and information management. The firm received nearly $76 million in defense contracts between 2000 and 2004. The company also is a frequent contributor to Cunningham's re-election campaign account, having given the 50th District congressman $21,000 since 1997.

The company has a sister firm, Group W Transportation Inc., which has provided air travel to Cunningham on numerous occasions between 2001 and 2003.

Cunningham is the subject of a San Diego federal grand jury investigation. That probe is believed to center on his relationship with another defense contractor, MZM, Inc. The owner of MZM, Mitchell J. Wade, purchased Cunningham's Del Mar Heights home in late 2003 for $700,000 more than he would sell the home for 11 months later.

MZM reported a tripling of its defense revenues around the same time period.

To date, the grand jury has subpoenaed member of a Washington yacht club where Cunningham stayed rent-free aboard a 42-foot boat owned by Wade called the "Duke-Stir," an apparent reference to Cunningham's nickname. The panel also has ordered at least three Cunningham congressional staffers to appear before it since it began its work in late June.


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