Sentencing delayed for former owners of Johnstown-area firm

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The former owners of a Johnstown-area defense contractor convicted of paying kickbacks to secure government work will be sentenced in December instead of next month.

Ronald and William Kuchera, who formerly ran Kuchera Defense Systems, were scheduled for sentencing Oct. 7, but their lawyers asked for more time to obtain letters and testimony from supporters seeking leniency.

A judge rescheduled sentencing for Dec. 17 in U.S. District Court in Johnstown.

The Kuchera case was previously connected to an FBI investigation of the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha, who directed millions in congressional earmarks to the company as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

Prosecutors said the Kuchera brothers paid $200,000 in kickbacks to Richard Ianieri, who ran Coherent Systems International and steered $650,000 worth of government work to Kuchera Defense from an $8.2 million earmark in exchange for the kickback.

Mr. Ianieri received the contract after hiring a lobbying firm that employed Mr. Murtha's brother, Kit.

The Kuchera brothers pleaded guilty in April to defrauding the government and conspiring to avoid paying taxes.

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