Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Justice Dept. Considers Mac Probe Firm's `Industrial Participations' Spur Lawmaker's Complaint

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Justice Dept. Considers Mac Probe Firm's `Industrial Participations' Spur Lawmaker's Complaint

Article excerpt

The Justice Department has not yet decided whether to launch an investigation into the way McDonnell Douglas Corp. helped sell Finnish paper-making equipment, department officials said Monday.

The New York Times reported Sunday that the Justice Department had launched an investigation into the matter, which involves "industrial participations" that McDonnell agreed to when it sold F/A-18 fighter jets to the Finnish government.

All that has happened, however, is that Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., w rote a letter on Dec. 19 to the Justice Department requesting an examination of the matter. Feingold said that Beloit Corp., a Wisconsin company, had been wronged when McDonnell helped to sell paper-making machinery made by a Finnish competitor, Valmet Corp. Feingold cited possible civil violations, so the letter went to the department's civil division, the Justice Department said Monday. Civil division spokesman Joe Krovisky said that the letter seemed to fall more under the potential jurisdiction of the criminal division, so he forwarded it to criminal. The criminal division has not yet received the letter, spokesman John Russell said Monday. Once the criminal division gets the letter, he said, it will evaluate the letter and determine whether an inquiry is warranted. The issue raised by Feingold is whether McDonnell violated a 1994 law he authored that bars defense contractors from inducing other American companies to buy goods or services from foreign countries that have purchased U.S. military equipment. Feingold contended in the letter that McDonnell representatives had tried to influence Willamette Industries of Portland, Ore., to buy a paper-making machine from Valmet Corp., partly owned by the Finnish government, instead of from Wisconsin-based Beloit Corp. In a separate matter, the Justice Department is investigating whether McDonnell or China intentionally violated U.S. export-control laws in China's diversion to military use of tools sold by McDonnell for civilian purposes. …

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