A West German national who has lived in the Washington area for the last decade pleaded guilty in federal court here yesterday to overcharging the West German Embassy at least $78,000 for freight shipments between The United States and Germany.

Bodo R. Dolch, 36, of 3801 N. Lorcom La., Arlington, entered the plea to one count of mail fraud before U.S. District Judge John H. Pratt, Dolch will be sentenced in about a month.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Garey Stark of the fraud division said Dolch and his firm, Impex, Inc., would bid for business from the embassy when it needed someone to ship the household goods of German nationals stationed in this country.

Stark said in criminal charges filed in court that Dolch would inflate his estimate on the prospective shipping charges, and then claim that the actual weight fell slightly under his estimate.

Actually, Stark said, the shipped weight would be far below Dolch's original estimate and the embassy would have to pay the difference between the actual cost and Dolch's final bill.

The charges listed at least 35 instances in the last five years in which Dolch overcharged the embassy or the German ministry of defense on individual shipments. The overcharges ranged from around $400 to nearly $7,000 per shipment, Stark added.

Stark said the investigation into alleged fraud of the Germany Embassy and the ministry of defense is continuing.