A California man was indicted by a federal grand jury here Thursday on charges of lying to the panel in its investigation of alleged bribery and corruption of officials of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Charles A. Cordial, 44, of San Fernando, Calif., is the first person to be charged in a federal investigation into alleged gangster influence at HUD, the Interstate Commerce Commission and other government agencies.
Cordial was charged with perjury for his denials that former top HUD labor-relations official Charles T. (Red) Muntain had any interest in two of Cordial's companies, Nortel International, Inc. or Charles Cordial and Associates.
Although Muntain has not been charged with any crimes, the indictment said one purpose of the investigation is to determine whether HUD officials had been bribed.
Cordial was also charged with perjury for denying that Muntain worked with him in a plan to sell a group automobile insurance plan to labor unions. In addition to the perjury counts in the indictment, Cordial was charged with obstructing justice by failing to turn over to the grand jury a copy of the alleged agreement between himself and Muntain concerning the auto insurance plan.
The investigation is being conducted by a criminal strike force from the Justice Department, reportedly on the basis of detailed allegations provided by informants that organized crime has made inroads into certain government agencies.
The indictment said the grand jury is seeking to determine if laws concerning bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, extortion, racketeering and income tax evasion have been violated.