Irvine Firm Picks Ex-Pentagon Official : W. Paul Thayer Served a 19-Month Term in Insider Trading Case

Times Staff Writer

W. Paul Thayer, the former deputy defense secretary convicted two years ago of obstruction of justice in an insider stock trading case, has been named to the board of Computerbase International Inc., a small Irvine-based computer design and development company.

The company said in its prepared statement that Thayer will oversee Computerbase’s executive management committee.

Computerbase officials were not available late Wednesday for comment about Thayer’s appointment, and Thayer could not be reached for comment.

The 67-year-old former fighter pilot was chairman of LTV Corp. but left the company four years ago to join the Defense Department. LTV, a Dallas-based conglomerate specializing in steel, energy and aerospace products, had annual sales of more than $6 billion in 1983.


Last year, however, the company filed for reorganization and protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. Its problems were largely caused by the collapse of the steel and energy markets.

Thayer resigned from his U.S. post in late 1984 and pleaded guilty in 1985 to charges of obstructing justice in a government investigation of insider trading activity by several of his close friends and business associates.

The illegal stock trading was based on advance information about planned acquisitions by Anheuser-Busch, the nation’s largest brewery, and Allied Corp., a conglomerate based in New Jersey. At the time, Thayer served on the boards of both companies.

In 1985 Thayer admitted that he had lied to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1983 when he denied under oath that he had passed insider tips to his stockbroker and other associates.


He was sentenced to four years in prison and fined $5,000 for obstruction of justice. He served 19 months of the sentence and was released in December. Thayer’s conviction was unrelated had nothing to do with LTV’s financial difficulties.

In addition to his posts at LTV and the Pentagon, Thayer had also served as chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Computerbase International Inc. specializes in computer systems and telecommunications equipment. Its customers include Teledyne, Xerox and Honeywell.