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Ex-Hughes Employee Pleads Guilty on Military Kickbacks

A former Hughes Aircraft Co. employee pleaded guilty Monday to taking kickbacks for awarding subcontracts on military projects and agreed to aid authorities in the ongoing investigation of bribery in Southern California’s defense industry.

William Benites Huerta, 54, who worked as a subcontract administrator at the Hughes facility in El Segundo, entered guilty pleas to three of the 20 counts filed against him in an indictment by a Los Angeles federal grand jury.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Fred Heather said that as part of the agreement with Huerta, the government will drop the remaining 17 counts.

According to the indictment, Huerta received $2,834 in kickback payments from Richard Haskell between February and June, 1984, for awarding a subcontract on an Army Department project to Haskell’s RH Manufacturing Co. in Chatsworth.

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Huerta is one of 10 employees from three major aerospace companies who were charged with taking kickbacks to award subcontracts on parts ordered by defense contractors for use in sophisticated military aircraft and weapons systems.


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