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Former Army official sentenced for bribes involving equipment for wounded soldiers

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GREENVILLE, NC (AP) -- A former Army acquisition official from Colorado has been sentenced to six years in prison for extorting money from companies looking to provide stretchers to military vehicles.

Authorities say 51-year-old Joseph Marak demanded bribes from companies in 2005 when he was a medical plans specialist in charge of getting new medical equipment, including stretchers, to help get wounded soldiers from the battlefield.

Prosecutors say Marak also demanded that one of the companies hire him when he left the military and became a private contractor.

Authorities say Marak took more than $350,000 in improper benefits.

Marak was found guilty in April of one count of extortion affecting interstate commerce induced by fear under the color of right, 17 counts of bribery, and 17 counts of gratuity.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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