A california businessman yesterday pleaded guilty to an obstruction-of-justice charge growing out of a continuing investigation into allegations of organized crime influence at government agencies.
Charles A. Cordial, 44, of San Fernando, entered the plea to one count of a four-count indictment that had been brought against him. The rest of the charges concerning alleged lies to a grand jury will be dropped at Cordial's sentencing before U.S. Distrist Court Judge June L. Green on Nov 16. according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert R. Chapman.
The charges against Cordial were the first to be brought in the Justice Department investigation of alleged mob influence at various government agencies, including the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The indictment against cordial charged him with lying to the federal grand jury that was investigaing allegations that bribes may have been paid to HUD officials in connection with an alleged plan to market group automobile insurance to labor unions.
Cordial was charged with lying when he denied before a grand jury that he knew of the existence of an agreement between him and others, including a former HUD labor relations official, concerning the marketing plan.
The obstruction-of-justice count involved his withholding of a copy of the agreement from the grand jury. Cordial could be sentenced to a maximum prison term of five years and fined a maximumof $5,000 fro his guilty plea, Chapman said in court yesterday.