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May 02, 1979 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 12-Wednesday, May 2, 1979-The Michigan Daily
GSA rauds add

BALTIMORE (AP)-- Televisions,
radios, automobile tires, airplane
tickets, and $300 suits.
Not much individually, but
prosecutors say they were received in
exchange for help in bilking the
General Services Administration
(GSA) and that they add up to a multi-
million-dollar case of fraud in the
federal government - not just here, but
in cities across the country.
So far, federal grand juries in
Baltimore alone have indicted 36 per-
sons. Nationwide, there have been 74
indictments and informations returned,
resulting in 53 guilty pleas and 14 trial
convictions. Four persons have yet to
enter pleas and the others are awaiting
trial. And prosecutors here say there is
no end in sight.
"WE WILL GO on until it's over,"
said Daniel Clements, the assistant
U.S. attorney here in charge of the
cases. "This is just one phase of it.
There are other areas being looked into
by us (federal officials in Baltimore).
More indictments can be expected."
The investigations of the federal
government's giant housekeeping
agency began in June 1977, after
allegations were made that GSA em-
ployees had been bribed with millions
of dollars from contractors working on

federal buildings, Clements said.
In addition to the probe here, grand
jury investigations are under way in
Washington, New York, Boston, and
Newark, N.J.
BROKEN DOWN by GSA regions, 49
indictments or informations have been
returned in the Baltimore-
Philadelphia-Washington region, three
in the Boston area, two in New York,
three in Atlanta, six in Forth Worth,
three in Denver and one each in San
Francisco and Seattle.
Informations, like indictments, are
legal accusations, buta grand jury does
not have to be involved in producing
them.
The Baltimore indictments charged
that GSA employees received cash,
television sets, trips, microwave ovens,
radios, tires, suits and other goods from
firms that sold supplies to GSA stores.
IN RETURN, the indictments said,
the employees - most of them
managers and assistant managers -
would acknowledge receipt of supplies
that had not been delivered, and would
approve GSA payment for those sup-
plies to the firms involved.
So far, at least, the rate of
prosecutors' success has been high. Of
36 persons indicted here, 27 have en-
tered guilty pleas after negotiations

up to millions
with prosecutors, and four have been generally range from thr
convicted in jury trials. There have ths for managers and fron
been no acquittals yet; the remaining days for assistant manag
five defendants are awaiting trial, with year sentences were give
that of William Anderson, a GSA store managers who picked tri
manager from Washington, scheduled pleading guilty.
to begin tomorrow.
Most of those entering guilty pleas The Justice Departmei
did so to one count of conspiracy to some convicted GSA e
defraud the U.S. government, Clements recover some of the mon
said. Those who chose to plead innocent Sheehan, a departmentsp
were tried on additional charges, in- he added that each case
cluding bribery and filing false claims sidered individually.
against the government.
"NATIONALLY, the percentage of Clements said he could
people that go to jail in white-collar the cost of the GSA scanda
cases of these types is 23 per cent.
We're doing substantially better," he "We never put a dollar
said. he said, but adds that
Asked why the conviction rate was so scandal has paid off. "Al
high, Clements said, "I can only say have been expensive, th
that we recommended in part of our appears to be what the G
argument in each case that government clean itself up ... What's
employees who violate the public trust the agency more than cor
should be incarcerated." Of those con- all it's costing us."
victed, prison has been recommended
in every case, he said, and 20 persons
already have received sentences.
Probation was given in only one case,
to a person who was not a GSA em-
ployee and who was scheduled for open-
heart surgery, Clements said.
CLEMENTS SAID sentences

ee to 13 mon-
m 20 days to 90
ers, but four-
n to two store
al rather than
nt plans to sue
employees to
ey, said Mark
okesman. But
would be con-
d not estimate
al.
figure on it,"
exposing the
though it may
e real impact
SA is doing to
s happening at
rmpensates for
aut

Ifor w~hatever jungle you'Ire in .. .

is preserved on
mm C FLM
The Michigan Daily
420 Maynard Street
AND
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