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Consultant Admits Bribe of Navy Brass : Defense: Defendant in Justice Department probe fingers U.S. officials and Israeli businessmen in contract conspiracy.

March 28, 1990|From Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Defense consultant William M. Galvin pleaded guilty today to charges he bribed an assistant Navy secretary and another senior Pentagon official to influence the award of defense contracts.

Galvin, a major figure in the Justice Department's investigation of Pentagon procurement fraud, dubbed "Operation Ill Wind," pleaded guilty to conspiracy, bribery and tax evasion.

Galvin, 59, admitted that he, Assistant Navy Secretary Melvyn R. Paisley and two Israeli businessmen conspired to influence the award of a Navy contract to guide remote-controlled drone aircraft. Paisley resigned from the Pentagon in 1987 to become a defense consultant.

As part of the deal, Galvin, Paisley and the two Israeli businessmen were to split $2 million that an Israeli company, Mazlat, would place in a Swiss bank account, according to court papers.

Paisley ordered the Navy to purchase a ground station for the aircraft drones that were produced by Mazlat, according to the court documents. Paisley issued the order when the Navy was about to purchase electronic equipment for the pilotless remote-controlled aircraft from another company.

Six days after Paisley signed the directive, the company placed $50,000 in the Swiss account, according to the court papers.

In all, the company put $268,000 into the Swiss account to be split by Paisley, Galvin and the businessmen, Mazlat President Zvi Schiller and consultant Uri Simhoni, according to the documents.

Galvin also admitted he conspired to bribe Victor D. Cohen, a senior civilian Air Force procurement officer, to influence the award of radar electronics contracts to Loral Corp.

Neither Paisley nor Cohen has been charged in the continuing investigation. Galvin agreed to cooperate with the probe, which has produced 35 convictions in the last two years.

As part of the plea agreement, Galvin agreed to pay back taxes and interest that he failed to report on his income tax forms totaling $647,548.

U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton scheduled sentencing for Aug. 3. Galvin could be sentenced to four years in prison.

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