Feeding the Beast: How Wedtech Became the Most Corrupt Little Company in America

Marilyn Thompson, Author Scribner Book Company $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19020-4
How did a small Bronx machine shop, with no shipbuilding facilities or marine engineers, win a major Navy contract to manufacture pontoon boats? Wedtech Corp., with friends high in the Reagan administration, had the knack. Its bribe-peddling officers included Puerto Rican immigrant John Mariotta, an illiterate master-manipulator; Mario Moreno, executive v-p with a million-dollar casino-gambling habit; and Fred Neuberger, who was cruising glitzy discos within days of his third wife's mysterious disappearance. Thompson, who covered the Wedtech scandal for New York City's Daily News , strikes paydirt in this hard-hitting, gutsy, damning probe, a volume that complements James Traub's Too Good to Be True (Nonfiction Forecasts, May 18). Wedtech's officers, who claimed to have U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese in their pocket, also laid low old Reagan hand Lyn Nofziger, Congressman Mario Biaggi and Stanley Simon, ``perhaps the stupidest man ever to serve as Bronx borough president.'' Though Thompson hews close to the facts of the case, one gets the feeling that the corruption unearthed by Wedtech is the tip of an iceberg. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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