A Navy official and defense contractor Teledyne Industries Inc., pleaded guilty today to bribery and conspiracy charges stemming from the massive investigation into whether companies had paid Pentagon employees for inside information on contracts.
Stuart E. Berlin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, receiving a bribe, wire fraud and making false statements. He faces a maximum term of 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines when sentenced June 2.
Teledyne pleaded guilty to making false statements and conspiracy. It agreed to pay a total of more than $4.3 million--$1.5 million in penalties, $2.08 million in civil claims and $786,000 to reimburse the government for the cost of the investigation. U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton ordered the company to make those payments today.
The case involved a Teledyne division, Teledyne Electronics, based in Newbury Park, Calif.
Berlin, 51, admitted that he had received a bribe for supplying inside information on contracts. He had been a supervisory electronics engineer and branch head of the ship systems engineering section at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in Arlington, Va.
5 Still Face Charges
He had initially been charged with racketeering, but those charges were dropped at an earlier court hearing. Berlin had no comment for reporters after leaving the courtroom.
Still facing charges in a trial scheduled to begin April 3 are defense consultants Fred H. Lackner and William L. Parkin, as well as three Teledyne officials: George H. Kaub, Eugene R. Sullivan and Dale Schnittjer. Parkin was hospitalized last Friday after reportedly taking an overdose of pills.
Teledyne issued a statement after the guilty plea saying:
“The company’s decision to enter a plea agreement and make a settlement with the government primarily came from the recognition that a former employee, Michael Savaides, had entered into a corrupt and illegal arrangement with William Parkin, a consultant to Teledyne Electronics, and Fred Lackner, with whom the company had no relationship.
“Their purpose was to subvert the lawful operation of the government’s procurement process.”
Savaides, who the company contends was defrauding Teledyne by taking money from Parkin, has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
The Pentagon has suspended Teledyne Electronics from new government contracts, and the company said today that it hopes that sanction will be lifted in view of today’s guilty pleas.