ST. LOUIS (AP)  – A St. Louis County builder has pleaded guilty to federal charges for trying to bribe a federal official.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis says 53-year-old Michael Woodling of Fenton pleaded guilty Thursday. Sentencing is May 15. In addition to potential prison time, Woodling agreed to forfeit more than $1.5 million.

Federal authorities say Woodling and 71-year-old Joseph Madlinger of Dupo, Ill., gave cash, baseball tickets and other bribes to a now-retired official with the Department of Veterans Affairs in an effort to get contracts meant for businesses run by disabled veterans. Officials say the men recruited a disabled vet as a figurehead for their business, Gateway contractors.

Madlinger previously pleaded guilty and faces sentencing May 8.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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