Baltimore firm fined $500,000 for hiding F-16 antenna flaws

January 25, 1991|By Kelly Gilbert | Kelly Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

Nurad Inc. has paid the government $1.25 million in fines and restitution for concealing defects in antennas that the Baltimore electronics company made for radar-jamming equipment on Air Force F-16 fighter planes.

Breckinridge L. Willcox, the U.S. attorney for Maryland, said last night the faulty antennas were not installed on the F-16s, and there is no indication that American fighter pilots in the Middle East have been endangered by antenna failures.

Nurad's two checks, presented to a court clerk late yesterday, covered $500,000 in fines and $750,000 in restitution in line with a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

The prosecutors charged the company earlier yesterday with five counts of falsifying documents in 1985 and 1986 on $4.2 million worth of antenna subcontracts from General Dynamics, which built the F-16s.

Nurad attorney Daniel M. Clements entered the company's guilty pleas to all five counts in a hearing before Judge Walter E. Black Jr. in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Nurad, of the 2100 block of Druid Park Drive, also paid a $1,000 special assessment to a government fund that aids victims of crime.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmina S. Hughes and Martin S. Himeles Jr., a special assistant prosecutor, said in a statement of facts filed in court that Nurad officials and technicians had been involved in similar frauds "since at least the late 1970s."

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