A federal grand jury in Alexandria yesterday indicted officers of General Research Corp., a subsidiary of Flow General Inc. of McLean, charging them with conspiracy to defraud the Army over the award of a $2.6 million computer contract in 1980.
The 20-page indictment names Robert Watt, a senior vice president of the research and development subsidiary, and four other employes with conspiring to secure award of a contract to computerize the Army's assigment system for enlisted personnel. They also were charged with violating federal conflict-of-interest laws, and all but one defendant, Michael J. Maloney, was charged with offering or accepting illegal financial inducements to secure information.
The subsidiary itself also was charged with conspiracy and conflict of interest. If found guilty, General Research could face maximum penalties of approximately $80,000.
The investigation grew out of allegations made by a competitor shortly after the contract was awarded. General Research denied the allegations, and maintained that the contract was awarded "solely on the basis of superior technical capabilities." The contract was terminated two months after the award.
Flow General is a major supplier of advanced biological and communications equipment, with facilities in the United States, Europe, Australia and the Far East. According to the company, contracts held by its General Research subsidiary represent less that 20 percent of Flow General's business.
According to the indictment, Watt and another company executive, James M. Wroth, offered jobs to one civilian and one military Army employe, then working at the Army's Military Personnel Center in Alexandria. The indictment alleges that at the time the two employes, Paul Shinderman and former captain Steven W. Walker accepted the jobs, they also were offered salary increases of approximately $3,500 in exchange for providing information they obtained before they left the agency.
Shinderman, 38, of Springfield, then was a computer specialist working with the service's personnel computerization plan, which until 1979 was being developed by the agency, according to the indictment. Walker, 29, of Herndon, was assigned to the Alexandria personnel center as a consultant on the project.
The indictment alleges that the men supplied the company information to ensure that General Research's bid would receive the highest evaluation score of the three companies that bid for the work. It received the contract on Sept. 29, 1980.
According to the indictment, Shinderman and Walker began working for General Research shortly afterward and received the promised salary increases.