Too Good to Be True: The Outrageous Stor

James Traub, Author, James Taub, Author Doubleday Books $21.95 (379p) ISBN 978-0-385-26182-1
The name Wedtech has become synonomous with corporate corruption and political sleaze. Traub, a freelance N.Y. journalist, skillfully explains why in this sordid tale of white-collar crime. He shows how a machine shop engaged in ``nickel and dime'' work in a South Bronx slum was transformed through massive deceit, bribery and influence peddling by people in high places into a $100-million defense contractor whose founder, an uneducated Puerto Rican, was lauded by President Reagan as a ``hero for the 80s.'' Traub tells how John Mariotta, with his business partners and political allies--only one of them a fellow Hispanic--exploited a government program setting aside Pentagon contracts for minority-run businesses. After defrauding both its stockholders and the government, the company declared bankruptcy in 1986, but by that time, federal investigators were dissecting its affairs. After six trials, the company's top executives and their outside conspirators--including two Bronx Congressmen, the Bronx borough president and a New York National Guard general--were convicted of charges ranging from extortion to fraud and were jailed. Even those jaded by the Wedtech case's extensive media coverage in recent years should find this a lively, colorful read. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
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