A former Rockwell International purchasing manager was convicted Thursday of funneling $500,000 in Air Force B-1 bomber contracts to a company in which he held a hidden partnership.
A federal jury found Ralph Affinito, 46, guilty of five counts of mail fraud as part of an elaborate contracting scheme in which he established an outside machine shop to bid on contracts for the bomber, then secretly diverted the work to firms that had not been approved for government work.
Affinito, a Rolling Hills Estates resident, was acquitted of an additional charge of conspiracy in which government prosecutors alleged that he accepted more than $20,000 in bribes and kickbacks during his earlier years as a purchasing supervisor for Hughes Aircraft Co.
The longtime defense industry supervisor was the last of 19 defense industry employees to be convicted in what federal officials described as the largest investigation ever undertaken into corruption in the awarding of defense contracts. The yearlong operation was code-named Operation DEFCON.