ITT Unit in Van Nuys Fined $200,000

A federal judge in Boston imposed a $200,000 fine Tuesday on ITT Corp.'s Gilfillan division, a Van Nuys-based defense contractor, for conspiring to defraud the government by wining and dining Air Force employees to get inside information used to bid on $230 million in defense contracts.

The fine was part of a plea agreement between federal prosecutors and ITT, which pleaded guilty to a single felony count in October in exchange for dismissal of three other felony charges.

The case was widely regarded as a prototype for Operation Ill Wind, the wide-ranging investigation of Pentagon procurement in which several defense contractors and consultants have been informed that they will be indicted.

ITT admitted that in 1984 and 1985 a Gilfillan official spent about $15,000 for illegal gifts to Air Force civilian employees at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Mass. In turn, the official, a marketing executive, received copies of internal government documents containing confidential data about two Air Force programs for which the firm intended to compete.