NEW YORK — Two former Wedtech Corp. associates bilked the bankrupt and scandal-ridden Bronx defense contractor of $315,000 through fraudulent consulting, travel and entertainment billings, the company charged today.
One of the two men, W. Franklyn Chinn, has been at the center of the Wedtech influence-buying scandal that has brought Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese III under investigation and Rep. Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.) under indictment.
Attorneys for Wedtech charged in an amended lawsuit that Chinn, a former financial adviser who later became a company director, and adviser R. Kent London submitted false invoices dated July 1, 1985, for $150,000 for "consulting services relating to the sale of a tug and barge system."
Although records show that no services were performed, Wedtech officials paid the fee, attorney Martin Pollner said.
The pair also submitted invoices and were reimbursed $165,000 for travel and dining expenses unrelated to their work for Wedtech, Pollner said.
The complaint amends a lawsuit filed May 12 charging Chinn and London with conspiring to defraud Wedtech of $1.14 million in similar bogus billings, he said.
Pollner is seeking $1.45 million in compensation and $10 million in punitive damages in the amended suit.
Wedtech, which has filed for bankruptcy protection, changed management earlier this year. Several former officials pleaded guilty in January to bribery and grand larceny charges and began cooperating with criminal probes of official corruption.
Chinn, a San Francisco financial adviser, is the focus of federal and New York state inquiries for his role in arranging a $60,000 investment by Meese in a "limited blind partnership" in 1985.