Two Former GE Workers Arrested In Alleged Kickback Scheme
BOSTON (AP) _ Two former employees of General Electric Co.’s aircraft engine business group in Lynn were arrested today and charged with accepting kickbacks in connection with the production of jet engines for the military.
James Ahearn, FBI special agent in charge in Boston, said John Richard Magrane of Lynn and Robert J. Ignatowicz of Orlando, Fla., were named in an indictment handed up today by a federal grand jury in Boston.
The indictment alleges Magrane and Ignatowicz accepted illegal kickbacks in connection with the awarding of defense subcontracts and orders for engines for the Navy’s F-18 fighters and SH60 Seahawk helicopters and the Army’s AH64 Apache and UH60 Black Hawk helicopters.
Magrane and Ignatowicz were employed in low-level supervisory and purchasing roles in GE’s engine business group. Their responsibilities included purchasing components.
The indictment alleges Magrane began accepting kickbacks from the Edel- Brown Tool and Die Co. in Everett as early as 1968. He also allegedly accepted kickbacks from Aster Engineering Corp. of Middleton and Palmer Manufacturing Co. of Malden.
Hans Edel, president of Edel-Brown, said he had no comment on the indictments. Telephone calls to Aster today were not answered. A secretary at Palmer said no one was available at the company for comment.
FBI officials in Boston did not say whether indictments would be forthcoming against any of the companies. Federal law prohibits the offer or acceptance of gratuities, gifts or payments intended to influence the award of defense subcontracts.
Magrane, who was fired by GE in September 1984, allegedly accepted a total of $135,000 to $180,000. The indictment also says he evaded taxes on about $397,000 in earnings from 1979 to 1984.
FBI officials in Boston said they did not know specifically the amount of kickbacks Ignatowicz allegedly accepted, or from what companies he allegedly accepted gratuities. He resigned from GE during an investigation into kickbacks the company conducted in 1984.
GE spokesman Bill Kennedy said information from the company’s investigation was turned over to the government.