A New Jersey contractor has pleaded guilty to paying a bribe to a Department of Veterans Affairs official in hopes of helping two companies get on a list of eligible VA contractors.

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The U.S. Attorney's office says Hitesh Desai pleaded guilty Friday to one count of bribing a federal public official by promising to make $5,000 in corrupt payments in exchange for official action.

The 42-year-old Jersey City resident was a contractor who worked on construction projects for the VA. Prosecutors say Desai promised the illegal payments to the VA official in hopes of helping two businesses he was affiliated with get on a list of companies that are eligible to get VA contracts.

He could face up to 15 years in prison at his October sentencing.


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