A former produce manager for the Andrews Air Force Base commissary and a produce company salesman were charged today with conspiring to defraud the government in a scheme similar to the bribery scandal in the General Services Administration.
The former manager is accused in the indictment of authorizing at least $7,000 of government payments for shipments of lettuce, apples, pears and other fruits that were never delivered to the commissary. In return, the salesman gave the manager more than $700 in cash bribes, the indictment charged.
The federal grand jury charged the former manager, Harold Bernard Freeman, 49, of Waldorf, with one court of conspiracy to defraud the government.
The salesman, Benjamin Hall Bowie, 47, of Bryantown, Md., was charged in a seven-count indictment with conspiracy, bribery and filing false claims. Bowie is a salesman for Mailley Produce Co. of Washington.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Air Force and presented to a special grand jury in Baltimore that has been looking into operations at government commissaries.
According to the indictment, the conspiracy between Freeman and Bowie lasted from November 1975 until April 1978. The allegedly false government payments and cash bribes enumerated in the indictment were paid throughout 1977, the inuictment charged.