540 F.2d 574 (2nd Cir. 1976), 974, United States v. Iaconetti

Docket Nº:974, Docket 76-1034.
Citation:540 F.2d 574
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Harry D. IACONETTI, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:August 04, 1976
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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Page 574

540 F.2d 574 (2nd Cir. 1976)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Harry D. IACONETTI, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 974, Docket 76-1034.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

August 4, 1976

Argued April 27, 1976.

Page 575

David G. Trager, U. S. Atty., E. D. N. Y., Brooklyn (Raymond J. Dearie, Asst. U. S. Atty., Brooklyn, N. Y., of counsel), for plaintiff-appellee.

Leon Dicker, New York City, for defendant-appellant.

Before LUMBARD, WATERMAN and FEINBERG, Circuit Judges.

WATERMAN, Circuit Judge:

This is an appeal fro a judgment of conviction entered in the Eastern District of New York after a jury trial before Judge Jack B. Weinstein. Appellant was convicted of having solicited and received a bribe in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201(c). 1

The indictment comprised five counts, charging Iaconetti with bribe solicitation and receipt, and with attempted extortion under color of official right and by fear of economic loss, in connection with his duties as Quality Assurance Specialist for the General Services Administration ("GSA"). In this position, appellant acted primarily as an inspector, supervising the preparation and administration of contracts between GSA and private contractors who were to provide various goods and services to the federal government. The jury returned guilty verdicts on all five counts, but prior

Page 576

to the imposition of sentence the trial judge, for reasons set out below, dismissed the extortion counts without prejudice.

The Government proved to the satisfaction of the jury that one such private contractor, Lightalarms Electronics Corporation of Brooklyn, New York, was awarded a government contract in October, 1974, and Iaconetti was assigned to supervise that contract. There was evidence that appellant, during contract discussions with a Lou Sonner of Lightalarms, warned him that he would need a payment from Sonner of 1% of the estimated value of the contract price in order to insure that no problems would develop during the life of the contract. Sonner, fearful that failure to pay the requested sum, particularly in view of Iaconetti's statement that he would be sharing the payment with a superior in the GSA, would jeopardize all of Lightalarms' government work, discussed the matter with his partners. Iaconetti repeated these overtures several times, but no payment was ever made by Lightalarms, Iaconetti having been reassigned to a plant in New Jersey and having had no further contact with Lightalarms.

In February, 1975, Iaconetti was assigned to conduct a pre-award survey of Champion Envelope Manufacturing Company so as to assess whether Champion was capable of performing a contract which the company had successfully bid upon. Iaconetti met with Michael Lioi, President of Champion, and after indicating to him during two preliminary meetings that he had some doubt about Champion's ability fully to perform the contract, Iaconetti intimated that if Lioi would be willing to pay 1% of the contract price to him, he would assure favorable treatment for Champion by the upper echelon of GSA. This February 10 meeting ended with Lioi stating that he would have to speak with his associates.

Lioi did immediately contact his business partners Babiuk and Goldman, and later that evening, his attorney, Stern. The following morning, February 11, Lioi telephoned the FBI. On an agent's advice Lioi recorded on his own equipment his conversion with Iaconetti later that day. During that session, Lioi agreed to pay a total of $9800 to Iaconetti and to make an advance payment of $1000. Several days later, arrangements were made for Lioi and Iaconetti to meet for the payment. By this time, FBI agents had equipped Lioi with a miniature recorder and transmitter. On the afternoon of February 24, 1975, Lioi met Iaconetti as previously arranged. Appellant directed Lioi to place the $1000 in the trunk of the...

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