Kansas City Businessmen Charged for Nuclear Weapons Kickback Scheme

By Quinn O’Hara

Two businessmen in Kansas City have been charged for a nuclear weapons contract kickback scheme. Starting in 2011 and spanning until January of 2021, 67-year-old Micheal Clinesmith received bribes and kickbacks from 63-year-old Richard Mueller in exchange for securing contracts between their respective employers. Clinesmith’s employer oversaw the designing and purchasing of devices that measured parts of nuclear weapons for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Kansas City National Security Campus, and Muller was the head of the department at a machining shop which produced those devices. Clinesmith allegedly coordinated with Mueller to bid a contract for a certain dollar amount, and Clinesmith abused his position to direct his employer towards Mueller’s bids. Prosecutors allege that Clinesmith was paid over $1 million in bribes for his part in securing the contracts.

If convicted, both could serve up to 20 years in prison, and Mueller faces an additional 5 years for lying to federal investigators.

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