WASHINGTON — Former housing aide Lance H. Wilson was indicted Tuesday on felony charges of fraud, conspiracy and perjury in the influence-peddling scandal at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Wilson, who was executive assistant to Housing Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr., is the first HUD official indicted in the case. He was charged with conspiring to steer housing grants to projects being built by Leonard E. Briscoe.
Briscoe, a Ft. Worth developer already facing 10 counts, on Tuesday was indicted on 12 more.
The offenses allegedly occurred after Wilson left HUD to join the New York investment firm PaineWebber Inc.
Wilson's attorney, Ray Banoun, said he "acted legally in all of his dealings with HUD. He totally rejects the charges and is certain that he will be fully vindicated."
Independent counsel Arlin M. Adams' staff is investigating allegations of fraud, mismanagement and cronyism at HUD, including whether Pierce showed political favoritism in administering four HUD programs. Pierce headed HUD through the eight years of the Ronald Reagan Administration.
Wilson was accused of 24 counts, including conspiracy to defraud the government, making false statements, fraudulent transactions, wire and mail fraud, aiding and abetting and offering an illegal gratuity to a housing official. Conviction on all counts would be punishable by up to 82 years in prison and $5.25 million in fines.