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Millard to Aid Saipan Probe on Corruption : ComputerLand Founder Reportedly a Witness

May 04, 1987|Associated Press

OAKLAND — ComputerLand Corp. founder William H. Millard is an important witness in a federal investigation into alleged government corruption on the U.S. protectorate island of Saipan, according to a published report.

The Oakland Tribune quoted sources Friday as saying that Millard, who moved his family to Saipan last year, has given statements to the FBI and is expected to testify when the Justice Department seats a grand jury on the Pacific island next September.

Neither Millard nor the Justice Department have publicly accused any officials.

Millard resigned under pressure last year as chairman of Hayward, Calif.-based ComputerLand following a series of business and legal setbacks. After moving to Saipan to pursue new business opportunities, he contacted the FBI to report what he knew about alleged corruption, according to Giles.

Saipan's Commonwealth Legislature ordered Millard to appear before the body on April 27 to explain a speech he gave in December in which he hinted that government officials had asked him for bribes.

However, attorney Thomas Purcell, representing Millard, flew to Saipan on April 24 and won a temporary restraining order from a U.S. district judge halting the legislative subpoena. Millard did not want to reveal sensitive information to Saipan lawmakers who may be subject to the FBI investigation, according to Purcell associate Terry Giles.

"Bill has already reported everything he knew to the FBI," Giles told the newspaper in an interview from his Orange County office. "The FBI has launched an investigation in Saipan similar to the one started in Guam."

The governor of Guam, Ricardo J. Bordallo, is appealing a multicount conviction and nine-year prison sentence handed down this year by a federal judge on the island. Other Guam officials were implicated in the scandal, which centered on a kickback scheme for government contracts.

The Tribune said K. William O'Connor, the U.S. attorney on Guam who prosecuted Bordallo, confirmed Friday that he launched the Saipan investigation but that he would not say what triggered it or who is being investigated. He said Millard and others are cooperating in the probe.

"We have made no informal allegations against anyone," O'Connor said. "If there are allegations, we will make them in formal filings."

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