U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Gasch, who has been criticized by federal prosecutors for declining to jail contractors convicted in the General Services Administration scandal, yesterday sentenced two more contractors to probation.
The two men, Thomas E. Jenkins and James B. Wheatly, who had formed a company with a GSA employe, admitted receiving a total of $150,000 in GSA contracts and performing only $120,000 worth of legitimate work.
As in the other cases for which he was criticized, Gasch ordered the men to pay fines of $5,000 and devote 200 hours to community service in addition to serving probation.
According to the men's attorney, Gregory D. Haight, the firm was created to do legitimate business with GSA. A GSA employe at first lured the men to give him gifts in exchange for contracts. But when large kikbacks became expected, they withdrew from the business, Haight said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William S. Block agreed that the two had stopped their illegal activity voluntarily more than a year before investigations of GSA began in 1977 and had since cooperated fully in the probes.
The sentences were identical to those imposed by Gasch on the GSA contractors who admitted receiving $1.2 million in GSA contracts to do nonexistent work. A total of $5.9 million in contracts had been steered to them by GSA employes they bribed. Most of the $1.2 million was used for bribes, while the remainder was kept by them.
In those cases, the contractors continued their illegal activities until criminal investigations had begun.