A former executive of the Hazeltine Corp., the first figure in the sweeping Pentagon corruption investigation to face sentencing, was ordered today to serve three months in prison for conspiring to defraud the government.
U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton granted leniency to Charles Furciniti, 54, under federal sentencing guidelines after Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Aronica declared that Furciniti had been fully cooperative with investigators and had shown remorse since pleading guilty Jan. 6.
The judge also sentenced Furciniti to pay a $20,000 fine and to serve 150 hours of community service.
Furciniti, in a brief statement requesting that he be spared jail time, told the judge:
“My 30-year career in the defense industry is over. . . . I have become infamous in my community and have embarrassed myself with my family. I am so ashamed that I have asked none of my five children to attend today’s hearing. . . . I am truly sorry.”
Furciniti pleaded guilty along with another former executive of Hazeltine, which is a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co., to conspiracy to defraud the federal government and to commit wire fraud, a charge stemming from investigators’ use of electronic listening devices during the inquiry.
Gained Bidding Information
Furciniti and Joseph Colarusso admitted obtaining inside information from two industry consultants about competitors’ bids to help their firm win a $150-million contract for aircraft radar testing devices.
Cooperation from Furciniti and Colarusso is believed to have bolstered the government’s case against consultants William Parkin and Fred Lackner, key figures in the investigation code-named “Operation Ill Wind.”
Parkin and Lackner face trial next week along with a Navy engineer, Teledyne Industries Inc. and three Teledyne executives on the remaining 25 counts of an indictment charging an elaborate scheme to pass bribes in exchange for inside contract information.
Three weeks ago, Hilton granted defense requests to dismiss two racketeering counts from the indictment.
Furciniti told Hilton today, “I have asked myself a thousand times why did I agree to participate with Mr. Parkin. . . . I rationalized my behavior. I never asked myself who Parkin was dealing with and behaved accordingly.”
He said that in trying to win the contract for the Navy’s UPM-150 program, he “never really looked at the actions from the Navy or government viewpoint.”