A headline in Tuesday's editions of The Washington Post incorrectly stated that George F. Berry was convicted by a jury in Fairfax County Circuit Court on a felony gambling charge. Berry was tried by a judge, who convicted him.

A Northern Virginia bingo operator, accused of taking more than $300,000 in illegal profits last year from games run on behalf of charities, was convicted on a felony gambling charge yesterday in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors said George F. Berry, 48, ran bingo games that grossed $1,117,942 last year in the county, but reported proceeds of only $771,094 to three charitable groups. The difference, according to Ron Coen, a Fairfax County auditor and prosecution witness, "was skimmed right off the top."

"It was a total sham operation," the prosecutor told the court. "Pure fraud."

The felony conviction carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Berry and Alva Ford Thompson, owner of United Charities Inc., conducted the games in the names of three sponsoring organizations, the Mount Vernon Youth Association, the Pioneer League Baseball Club an the Lee District Basketball Club, prosecutors said.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Steven Merril said that United Charities, which allegedly paid the sponsors only 2 percent of the gross receipts, rivaled other Northern Virginia bingo operations in its size.

"Moneywise, it was even larger than the Alexandria operations," Merril said outside the courtroom.

The reported earnings from all licensed bingo games in Alexandria last year was $1.2 million. More than a third of that amount was taken in by the Montessori School whose director, Dirgham Salahi, is the central figure in the bribery trial of Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney William L. Cowhig, scheduled to start today. Salahi allegedly paid Cowhig $32,000 in bribes to buy "peace" for his lucrative operation.

"It was a total sham operation," the prosecutor told the court. "Pure fraud."

Berry was convicted Nov. 2 of illegal gambling in Alexandria and faces sentencing there on Jan. 18. He is scheduled to be sentenced eight days later in Fairfax by Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Thomas Middleton.

Berry and Thompson were indicted in Fairfax on Sept. 18 after an undercover Alexandria police officer gathered evidence against the two men while posing as a secretary in Thompson's office. Thompson's trial is set for Jan. 16 in Fairfax.

As a result of the undercover probe, prosecutors obtained the financial records of United Charities Inc., which ran bingo games in 1977 and 1978 at the Bonanza Playhouse, 7520 Richmond Hwy.

The prosecution yesterday presented a large cardboard chart prepared by county auditors that indicated profits taken by United Charities.

In an interview yesterday, Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. called the United Charities operation "a classic case of how far you can go in abusing" the law.