Cordatum Inc., a small McLean government services contractor, said yesterday that it had shut down and planned to liquidate under Chapter 7 of federal bankruptcy law.

The move came less than two weeks after the company, which had a 20-member staff of consultants and contract employees, filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Company officials could not be reached yesterday to explain why they had decided to close the company rather than reorganize.

In addition, the company said it had fired its president, Lawrence J. Fedewa, and that three other directors would resign once a bankruptcy trustee was named.

Cordatum's bankruptcy caps a rocky year for the company that began with the purchase of a controlling interest in the firm by two investors, Lawrence J. Trautman and Timothy Bell.

Trautman and Bell -- who did not return phone calls yesterday seeking comment -- hoped to use Cordatum as a vehicle to purchase other high-technology companies in the Washington area.

But after replacing top management, the new owners ran into financial problems, in part, they said earlier this month, because former chairman Merle C. Garvis failed to inform them of four years worth of unpaid taxes totaling $45,000.

That liability imperiled a loan from Signet Bank, according to Trautman and Bell, forcing the company's Chapter 11 filing.

Trautman and Bell also sued Garvis, alleging fraud. Garvis denied the allegation.