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Ex-Navy Procurement Official Given 18-Month Sentence

October 28, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A former Navy procurement official was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday for accepting $475,000 in bribes from two defense firms seeking inside bid information on lucrative contracts.

Garland L. Tomlin Jr., 60, was sentenced on his guilty plea to conspiracy, receiving bribes and tax evasion by U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton in Alexandria, Va.

Tomlin could have received a 25-year sentence for taking $400,000 from Sperry Corp. and $75,000 from Honeywell Inc. in exchange for confidential information about a multi-million-dollar contract to maintain electronic components of naval weapons.

Tomlin pleaded guilty July 14 and has been cooperating with the Justice Department’s continuing investigation of Pentagon procurement fraud, which is nicknamed ″Operation Ill Wind.″

As part of his plea agreement, Tomlin returned $385,000 from a Swiss bank account in which he kept the money.

Hilton, noting that Tomlin is now penniless, did not impose a fine.

Tomlin was the third former Pentagon official to admit taking bribes in the matter. Stuart E. Berlin, a former naval engineer, and Jack Sherman, a one- time Marine Corps official, have also pleaded guilty and been sentenced for their involvement in the procurement scandal.

As a result of Tomlin’s cooperation, Frank J. Lavelle, a former Sperry Corp. marketing executive, pleaded guilty last week to charges he initiated the scheme by his company to bribe Tomlin.

Investigators are trying to piece together evidence to bring charges against an unidentified Sperry executive who approved the payments at the request of a former vice president, Charles F. Gardner.

Gardner last month was sentenced to 32 months in prison for his involvement in a separate bribery scheme.

Sperry Corp. became part of Unisys Corp. following a 1986 takeover by Burroughs Corp.

Tomlin has also identified a Honeywell official to whom he gave four boxes of documents that included bid submissions from competing companies, according to court papers.

The Honeywell official, not identified in the court papers, told Tomlin that the $75,000 bribe had been approved by his superiors.

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