Monday, April 16, 2007

UK Defense Official Gets Jail For Bribes By US Company

By Cernig

A British MOD official has been jailed for two years for taking bribes totalling around $400,000 from a US company. The judge, in handing down the sentence, told the official that "offences of this nature, which to put it bluntly are the taking of bribes by public servants involving breach of trust and breach of confidence, can be visited by an immediate custodial sentence...And sentences for public servants acting corruptly contain an element of deterrence as well as punishment."
A senior Ministry of Defence official who built a luxury villa in the sun with bribes for helping an American company win a lucrative contract has been jailed for two years.

...Michael Hale pleaded guilty to nine counts of accepting bribes from Pacific Consolidated Industries between November 1999 and July 2003. He showed no reaction as Judge Christopher Elwen told him jail was inevitable for his life of crime.

He said the £4.5 million contract Hale was in charge of as a team leader and a senior professional technology officer was for the supply of gas and containment equipment for all three services, particularly the RAF.

He said: "The first set of payments, all of which were actually made in US dollars, was made to you using your stepson's bank account. The second set of payments were paid from an American account to one in Spain in relation to the purchase and building of a five-bedroom villa with swimming pool in Benidorm. You were well aware of the strict rules about behaviour to be avoided so as not to raise the presumption of corruption. In that context you got to know Pacific Consolidated Industries (PCI) in Santa Ana, California, initially on a legitimate basis. But the relationship with that company and in particular with one of the company's vice-presidents, one Lee Smith, became corrupt."
And what happened to the VP, Lee Smith? Well, when PCI was bought by Cherrington Capital, he was bumped up to CEO.

PCI does seem to have been bi-partisan in its politics, if corrupt in its business practises. It's PAC, according to, donated to both GOP Congressman Ken Calvert and Dem Senator Dianne Feinstein, both of whom have had their own problems with ethics.

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