Litton Industries being investigated in probe of Greek defense contracts

Defense

June 23, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON -- The Greek government is investigating Litton Industries Inc. to determine whether the U.S. defense contractor made illegal payments to win Greek defense contracts, Greek Embassy officials said yesterday.

Greece will look at whether Litton broke any laws when it paid $12 million in commissions to consultants regarding about $150 million in sales of F-16 fighter-jet equipment to the Greek government in 1993, said Achilles Paparsenos, a spokesman for the Greek Embassy. He didn't identify the consultants.

"A public prosecutor has started a preliminary investigation to determine if any laws were violated," Paparsenos said. "The government also asked that anyone with evidence of wrongdoing in this case step forward."

Litton declined to comment.

The U.S. Justice Department also is investigating Litton's payments to foreign consultants, and the reporting of those payments to the United States, in connection with sales to Taiwan, Greece and possibly South Korea.

Litton has agreed to pay a multimillion-dollar penalty to avoid federal criminal charges in connection with the payments, a person familiar with the U.S. investigation said last week.

Pub Date: 6/23/99

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