KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One Missouri man and a Kansas man are facing charges in a $1 million scheme involving nuclear weapon components according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
An indictment released Thursday revealed charges against two businessmen for trying to fraudulently steer and award subcontracts for a major engineering firm that works on nuclear weapons being made at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC).
According to court documents, Michael Clinesmith, of Kansas, allegedly solicited and received bribes from Richard Mueller, of Missouri, in exchange for directing subcontracts from Clinesmith’s employer to Mueller’s company.
Clinesmith was a long-time employee at a major engineering firm, only referred to as “Company 1” in a news release, that does work at the KCNSC. He was responsible for designing and acquiring gages that were specially designed and manufactured to measure the components of nuclear weapon products.
Clinesmith allegedly used his authority at Company 1 to direct gage subcontracts to Mueller’s company (Subcontractor 1) in exchange for Mueller paying him over $1 million for secretly performing some or all of the work.
Clinesmith allegedly told Mueller how much to bid on gage subcontracts that Company 1 awarded.
Clinesmith told Company 1 that those bids were fair and reasonable without disclosing that, in exchange for the subcontracts, Mueller would secretly funnel to Clinesmith the money awarded to Subcontractor 1. The indictment also says that Mueller lied to federal agents about the number of subcontracts and his involvement in the scheme.
Clinesmith and Mueller are both charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud in addition to four counts of wire fraud. Mueller is also charged with making false statements to federal agents.
If they are convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison. Mueller could also face five years for the false statement charge.