Thomas Aram Manok, former Army Corps of Engineers employee, guilty of accepting bribes

A former Army Corps of Engineers employee from Chantilly, Va., pleaded guilty Monday to accepting bribes from Iraqi contractors involved in U.S.-funded reconstruction efforts.

Thomas Aram Manok, 50, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga in the Eastern District of Virginia.{ }

Manok faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

He admitted to using his position to conspire with Iraqi contractors and accept cash bribes in exchange for recommending the Army Corps approve contracts{ } and other requests for payment submitted by contractors to the U.S. government.

In March and April 2010, Manok agreed to receive $10,000 from one contractor who had been involved in constructing a kindergarten and girls' school in the Abu Ghraib neighborhood of Baghdad.

Manok was supposed to receive an additional payment from the contractor once the contractor's claim had been approved.

He admitted that he intended to conceal the payments from authorities by transferring them, via associates, from Iraq to Armenia.

The case was investigated by the FBI's Washington Field Office, the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General, the Army Criminal Investigation Command and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service as participants in the International Contract Corruption Task Force.