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A Kansas radiologist and the former chief administrator of the radiology department at Brooke Army Medical Center plan to plead guilty Thursday to rigging $8 million in military contracts, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Heidi Lynn Webster, MD, 50, of Manhattan, Kansas, and retired Army Master Sergeant Lawrence Peter Fenti, 42, of New Braunfels, Texas, have signed plea deals admitting that they conspired to take advantage of Army rules that give preference to small businesses run by people whom the government considers to be disadvantaged.

The two face up to five years in prison for conspiracy and up to 15 years for bribery, according to the newspaper’s Guillermo Contreras:

Fenti and Webster are expected to formally plead guilty Thursday before Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In addition, Fenti has agreed to plead guilty to accepting a bribe, and Webster has agreed to plead guilty to giving him a bribe.

Biery’s court is in San Antonio. Brooke Army Medical Center is at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Dr. Webster was a radiologist there from 1995 to about 2003. She then moved to Irwin Army Community Hospital at Fort Riley, Kansas. She retired there as a major in 2006 and began contracting with the Army to provide radiology services at Irwin.

Prosecutors accuse Dr. Webster and Fenti of routing $8.15 million in radiology contracts through Data Dynamics Inc., a small “disadvantaged” business in Grafton, North Dakota. No one at Data Dynamics has been charged. Court documents say the work was actually done by companies run by Dr. Webster. Prosecutors say inflated invoices and kickbacks were part of the scheme.

The indictment seeks a monetary judgment of $613,828 from Dr. Webster. Fenti’s plea deal says he agrees to pay a judgment of $282,485 but disputes an extra $120,000 that prosecutors want him to pay.

As we reported back in August, Dr. Webster may also have to serve 30 additional days in prison for contempt of court. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson imposed that sentence because of outbursts from Dr. Webster at an initial hearing in Topeka, Kansas.

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