General Electric Co., the nation's fourth-largest defense contractor, was indicted today on charges that it defrauded the government of about $800,000 on contracts for a nuclear warhead system, the Justice Department said.
A statement by U.S. Atty. Edward S. G. Dennis, released here by the Justice Department's Criminal Division, said the indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Philadelphia charged the company with four counts of "making and presenting false claims to the United States" in violation of the U.S. Code.
Also charged in the indictment were GE employee Joseph Calabria and former GE employee Roy Baessler. Each was charged on two counts of "making false declarations" before a federal grand jury, he said.
Earlier, a GE company spokesmen denied any criminal wrongdoing on GE's part but acknowledged that a 4-year-old investigation into billing procedures at its aerospace group could lead to an indictment.
"Any rational human being would think that an indictment was coming," John Terino, product information manager for GE, said.
The government alleges "incorrect charges on about 100 employees' time cards of approximately 100,000 time cards submitted between March and November of 1980," Larry Vaber, a GE spokesman in Westport, Conn., said.