WASHINGTON (AP) _ An official at the U.S. Agency for International Development was indicted Tuesday for allegedly influencing the hiring of his wife, the Justice Department announced.

Neboysha Brashich, AID's representative in Belize, approved more than $100,000 in contracts for his wife, Prunella, to work at a U.S. embassy and at AID from 1983 to 1987, according to a 10-count federal grand jury indictment handed up in Alexandria, Va.

Federal law prohibits a government officer or employee from taking official action which affects the financial interest of a spouse.

Each count in the indictment carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, up to a maximum of $500,000.

AID is a State Department agency that operates U.S. development programs overseas, dispensing billions of dollars in non-military foreign aid.

Announcement of the indictment was made by Attorney General Edwin Meese III.