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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Holding a Criminal Term
Grand Jury 97-1, Sworn on January 31, 1997


 

S U P E R S E D I N G
I N D I C T M E N T

Criminal No. : 96-0314 (JR)

Violations:

Gratuities to Public
Officials
(18 U.S.C. 201(c)(1)(A))
  [Counts 10-13]
Conspiracy
(18 U.S.C. 371)
  [Count 1]
Mail Fraud
(18 U.S.C. 1341 and 1346)
  [Count 2]
Wire Fraud
(18 U.S.C. 1343 and 1346)
  [Counts 3-6]
False Statements
(18 U.S.C. 1001)
  [Counts 14-15]
Meat Inspection Act
(21 U.S.C. 622)
  [Counts 7-9]
Aiding and Abetting
(18 U.S.C. 2)
  [Counts 2-13]

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 

VS.

 

JACK L. WILLIAMS and
ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III,

  Defendant.


 

BACKGROUND TO ALL COUNTS

    At all times relevant to this Indictment unless otherwise indicated:

  1. The United States Department of Agriculture (the "Department of Agriculture" or "USDA") was a department of the United States Government. The mission of USDA was, among other things, to improve and promote agricultural development and production in the United States and to regulate the country's food supply. In order for there to be effective regulation and inspection of agricultural products and the food supply, Government regulators, from every food safety inspector to the Secretary of Agriculture, were expected to act and appear to act impartially and without preferential treatment in favor of any organization or individual. Similarly, regulated industry was expected not to seek or obtain access and influence prohibited by law that might compromise or impair the ability of the Department of Agriculture and its officials from carrying out the public trust placed in them with absolute impartiality.
  2. Tyson Foods, Inc. ("Tyson Foods" or the "company"), named as a co-conspirator but not as a defendant herein, a Delaware corporation, was a large publicly held company with sales in excess of $5 billion which produced and marketed poultry, red meat and other products in interstate and foreign commerce from facilities located in Springdale and elsewhere in Arkansas, approximately seventeen (17) other states, and three foreign countries. Tyson Foods was the world's largest fully integrated producer, processor and marketer of poultry-based food products and was responsible for approximately twenty (20) percent of the chicken sold in the United States. The company owned and operated approximately sixty (60) poultry processing plants, of which approximately eighteen (18) plants also processed beef and pork products. The processing of beef and pork products was administered through its Beef and Pork Division. During fiscal year 1994, the Beef and Pork Division operated plants in eight states and accounted for approximately 11 percent of the company's total revenues and total pounds of product produced.
    1. Don Tyson, named as a co-conspirator but not as a defendant herein, was chairman of the Board of Directors of Tyson Foods and controlled approximately 90 percent of the voting shares of the company.
    2. John Tyson, named as a co-conspirator but not as a defendant herein, was Don Tyson's son and served as a member of the company's board of directors and the president of the Beef and Pork Division.
      1. John Tyson also served as a trustee of the Tyson Foundation, Inc. (hereinafter, the "Tyson Foundation"), named as a co-conspirator but not as a defendant herein.
      2. The Tyson Foundation, a not-for-profit Arkansas charitable corporation controlled by Tyson Foods, provided, among other things, educational scholarships to students and was organized for the purpose of providing financial assistance in the form of scholarships to post-secondary students from geographic areas in the vicinity of Tyson Foods operating facilities. Another individual, also a relative of Don Tyson, served as president of the Tyson Foundation.
    3. ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, was a vice-president in charge of Media, Public, and Governmental Affairs of Tyson Foods and reported principally to John Tyson. Defendant SCHAFFER's responsibilities included, among other things, supervision of the company's lobbying activities.
    4. JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, was the company's principal lobbyist who:
      1. represented the interests of Tyson Foods in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, before various United States government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, and was registered as a company lobbyist under the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946; and
      2. reported principally to ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant. WILLIAMS submitted monthly invoices for "Legislative Liaison Services" to Tyson Foods. After defendant ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III reviewed and approved WILLIAMS' invoices, payments from the company, including expense reimbursements, were sent to WILLIAMS at his address in Washington, D.C.
  3. Tyson Foods did business with, had various matters pending before and conducted activities regulated by USDA. Among other things, the company participated in the sale of various of its products through programs administered by USDA.
  4. On or about December 24, 1992, Alphonso Michael Espy (hereinafter, "Mike Espy" or "Secretary Espy"), not named as a defendant herein, was selected by the President-elect to be the next Secretary of Agriculture. From on or about January 22, 1993 until on or about December 31, 1994, Mike Espy was the United States Secretary of Agriculture.
    1. Secretary Espy, an Executive Branch employee and cabinet appointee, was the head of USDA and an officer of the United States who was appointed by and served at the pleasure of the President.
    2. Secretary Espy maintained an office located at the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., from which he conducted the official business and duties of the Office of Secretary of Agriculture. In part and among other things, those duties included application and enforcement of, and issuance of regulations under the provisions of the Meat Inspection Act of 1907, Title 21, United States Code, Sections 601-91 (hereinafter, the "Meat Inspection Act") and the Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1957, Title 21, United States Code, Sections 451-70 (hereinafter, the "Poultry Products Inspection Act").
    3. Secretary Espy maintained a close personal relationship with an individual, who is not a defendant in this matter (hereinafter, the "Secretary's girlfriend").
  5. An individual, not named as a defendant herein, was from in or about September 1993 the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Inspection Services, and on or about January 1, 1994, was promoted to and became the Acting Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Inspection Services (the "Acting Assistant Secretary"), subject to confirmation by the United States Senate. One of the agencies at USDA, among others, which she oversaw, supervised and for which she was responsible, on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture, was the Food Safety and Inspection Service ("FSIS"), which was charged with regulating the meat and poultry industry to ensure that meat and poultry products moving in interstate and foreign commerce were safe, free from contamination by foreign matter, wholesome, and accurately labeled.
    1. The Acting Assistant Secretary's authority on behalf of the Secretary to regulate and inspect meat products was pursuant to the provisions of the Meat Inspection Act.
    2. The Acting Assistant Secretary's authority on behalf of the Secretary to regulate and inspect poultry products was pursuant to the provisions of the Poultry Products Inspection Act.
    3. FSIS inspectors were responsible for inspecting meat and poultry product for disease and adulteration and for ensuring that sanitary production practices and a sanitary environment existed at processing facilities.

    Application For Inspection

  6. Section 643 of the Meat Inspection Act provided, in pertinent part, that "no . . . corporation shall engage in business, in or for commerce, as a meat broker, renderer, or animal food manufacturer . . . of any cattle [or] . . . swine . . ., unless, when required by regulations of the Secretary, he has registered with the Secretary."
  7. Section 460(c) of the Poultry Products Inspection Act provided, in pertinent part, that "[n]o person shall engage in the business, in or for commerce, as a poultry products . . . manufacturer, or . . . wholesaler of . . . any poultry. . . , unless, when required by regulations of the Secretary, he has registered with the Secretary."
  8. In order to register with the Department of Agriculture and receive a grant of inspection, each processing facility owned and operated by a corporation engaged in such business in interstate commerce was required to prepare, sign and file with the Department of Agriculture an application (Form 5200-2) for inspection. Each application for inspection required an authorized officer of the corporation engaged in commerce to agree and certify as follows:

      "I (we) expressly agree to conform strictly to the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Regulations Governing the Meat Inspection of the United States Department of Agriculture (9 CFR Part 301 et seq.), or the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), and the Poultry Products Inspection Regulations (9 CFR 381 et seq.), or both. I CERTIFY that all statements made herein are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. WARNING: Persons willfully making false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or entries, are subject to $10,000 fine or imprisoned not more than five years or both as prescribed by Title 18 U.S. Code 1001."

  9. Approximately sixty plants owned and operated by Tyson Foods were registered under the Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and regulated by the Secretary of Agriculture. During the period between September 4, 1992 and July 21, 1994, approximately fifteen applications for meat and poultry inspection were filed by the company with, and pending during 1993 and 1994 before, the Department of Agriculture. All applications were signed by an authorized officer of the company.

    The Meat Inspection Act

  10. Section 622 of the Meat Inspection Act prohibited, in part and among other things, (i) "any person, firm, or corporation, or any agent or employee of any person, firm or corporation" from "giv[ing], pay[ing], or offer[ing], directly or indirectly, to . . . any officer or employee of the United States authorized to perform any of the duties" under the Meat Inspection Act "any money or other thing of value, with intent to influence said . . . officer or employee of the United States in the discharge of any duty" provided for in the Act, and (ii) "any officer or employee of the United States authorized to perform any of the duties" under the Meat Inspection Act from "receiv[ing] or accept[ing] from any person, firm, or corporation engaged in commerce any gift, money, or other thing of value, given with any purpose or intent whatsoever."
  11. Pursuant to federal law, all officers and employees of the Department of Agriculture were prohibited from accepting, directly or indirectly, any gratuity or other thing of value from any "prohibited source," which (i) has or is seeking official action from or engaging in or doing business with the Department of Agriculture, (ii) conducts operations or activities regulated by the Department, or (iii) has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the official duties of the Department employee involved, all as more fully set forth in Title 5, United States Code, Section 7353.

    Tyson Foods' Interests Before the Department of Agriculture

  12. ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendants, and Tyson Foods were prohibited sources before the Department of Agriculture.
  13. The company had interests, issues, questions, controversies and matters pending before the Department of Agriculture, its agencies including FSIS, and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy. In part, and among other interests, these included:

    A. "Zero Tolerance" Pathogen Policy for Beef and Poultry

  14. Following an outbreak of food poisoning in or about January 1993 in the Pacific Northwest that affected ground beef caused by the parasitic bacteria E. coli 0157:H7, FSIS delivered to Secretary Espy in or about March 1993 a proposal concerning a new "zero tolerance" of feces initiative for USDA inspection of poultry as well as beef products. Specifically, this proposal would have created more stringent standards for poultry inspection that would have required poultry processors to either reprocess or trim significantly more poultry carcasses contaminated with fecal matter, resulting in, according to Tyson Foods officials, substantially increased fixed costs of $57.1 million and annual reoccurring production costs of approximately $39 million.

    B. Safe Handling Labels

  15. On or about August 16, 1993, USDA issued an emergency interim final rule amending the meat and poultry products inspection regulations, among other things, to make safe handling instructions mandatory on all raw meat and poultry product packaging labels, which interim rule was published in the Federal Register and was to take effect on October 15, 1993.
  16. In or about August 1993, Tyson Foods advised the Department of Agriculture and others that the October 15th deadline, among other things, would cost the company approximately $30 million in additional costs, and urged USDA to "phase in" use of safe handling labels on a delayed timetable more favorable to Tyson Foods.

    Things of Value Provided to Senior USDA Officials
    on Behalf of Tyson Foods

  17. ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendants, by and on behalf of Tyson Foods, together with their co-conspirators, followed a course of conduct of providing, and causing to be provided, various things of value totaling approximately $12,218, to officials of the United States Department of Agriculture and others for the benefit of these officials. These things of value included the following:
    EVENT RECIPIENT DATE VALUE
    Presidential
    Inaugural Dinner
    (FOUR SEATS)
    Secretary Espy 1/18/93 $6,000
    Russellville
    Birthday Party
    Weekend (TWO
    GUESTS)
    Secretary Espy 5/14-16/93 $2,556
    Tyson Foundation
    Scholarship
    Secretary Espy's
    girlfriend
    1/4/94 $1,200
    Dallas Cowboys
    Playoff Game
    (TWO GUESTS)
    Secretary Espy 1/15-16/94 $2,271
    Arkansas
    Razorbacks
    Basketball Game
    (ONE GUEST)
    Acting Assistant
    Secretary
    2/1-2/94 $191
      TOTAL:  $12,218

     

    COUNT ONE

    CONSPIRACY

    THE GRAND JURY CHARGES:

  18. Paragraphs 1 through 17 of this Indictment are alleged and incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein.
  19. From in or about December 1992 until in or about December 1994, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendants, together with Tyson Foods, Don Tyson, John Tyson, the Tyson Foundation and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, knowingly combined, conspired, confederated and agreed together and with each other to:
    1. defraud the United States of America, by interfering with and obstructing the lawful governmental functions of the United States Department of Agriculture, a department and agency thereof, of and concerning its right and the right of the citizens of the United States to the honest services of Secretary Espy performed free from deceit, fraud, dishonesty, conflict of interest and unlawful compensation; and
    2. commit offenses against the United States, namely, to violate Title 18, United States Code, Sections 201(c)(1)(A) (gratuities to public officials) and 1001 (false statements), and Title 21, United States Code, Section 622 (Meat Inspection Act). The Objectives of the Conspiracy
  20. A plan and purpose of the conspiracy was for Tyson Foods through its officials and agents, including ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendants, to obtain, have and maintain access to high-level officials at the Department of Agriculture, including Secretary Espy and the Acting Assistant Secretary, by giving, offering and promising them things of value.
  21. It was a further plan and purpose of the conspiracy to conceal and cover up the full extent of efforts by defendants ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS, and their co-conspirators, to provide Secretary Espy, his girlfriend and members of his family with things of value, in part, so that Tyson Foods would not jeopardize the continued receipt of the substantial economic benefits of federal meat and poultry inspection rights granted by the Department of Agriculture.
  22. It was a further plan and purpose of the conspiracy that defendants ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS would and did make materially false statements to federal law enforcement agents to conceal and cover up the full extent of the giving, offering and promising of things of value by Tyson Foods, its agents, officers and employees to USDA officials.

    Means and Methods of the Conspiracy

  23. Defendants ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS, and their co-conspirators known and unknown, accomplished the unlawful objectives of the conspiracy in giving, offering and promising Secretary Espy, his girlfriend, members of his family, and the Acting Assistant Secretary things of value totaling approximately $12,218, by the following means and in the following manner:
    1. On or about January 18, 1993, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, obtained four tickets in the total amount of $6,000 to the Presidential Inaugural Dinner held at the Sheraton Washington Hotel for then Secretary-designate Mike Espy, his girlfriend, and his two sisters.
    2. On or about the weekend of May 14-16, 1993, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, provided and caused Tyson Foods to provide to Secretary Espy and his girlfriend meals, live entertainment, transportation, lodging, recreational activities and other amenities valued at approximately $2,556.
    3. On or about January 4, 1994, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, assisted Tyson Foods in providing Secretary Espy's girlfriend with a $1,200 educational scholarship for a semester of undergraduate study at a university.
    4. On or about the weekend of January 15-16, 1994, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, together with Tyson Foods, provided and offered to provide to Secretary Espy and his girlfriend things of value totaling approximately $2,271, including round trip airline tickets from Washington National Airport to Dallas, Texas for the Secretary's girlfriend, tickets to a Tyson Foods skybox at Texas Stadium for the Dallas Cowboys/Green Bay Packers playoff game, a pre-game brunch, food and drink, limousine transportation service and parking.
    5. On or about February 1, 1994, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, arranged to provide and provided the Acting Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Inspection Services a ticket whose face amount was $13 to a seat in a skybox worth approximately $94 per event belonging to Tyson Foods for a University of Arkansas-Vanderbilt University basketball game and a first-class upgrade valued at approximately $84 for travel from Nashville, Tennessee to Washington, D.C.
  24. ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendants, and their co-conspirators:
    1. concealed and covered up their efforts to give, pay and offer the Secretary of Agriculture and the Acting Assistant Secretary by various means and methods, including but not limited to making materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations to, and misleading agents of the Office of Inspector General, Department of Agriculture and the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
    2. created the appearance that the May 1993 Russellville weekend gala was an event sponsored by the Arkansas Poultry Federation for the purpose of providing the Secretary of Agriculture with an "official business" reason to otherwise be in Russellville, Arkansas for the birthday celebration hosted by Don Tyson and paid for by Tyson Foods; and
    3. sent and caused to be sent false and misleading documentation to Secretary Espy's travel coordinator to conceal the fact that Secretary Espy's travel to Russellville, Arkansas was for the purpose of attending the Tyson Foods birthday party celebration.

    Overt Acts

  25. In furtherance of the conspiracy and to effect its objects, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendants, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, committed and caused to be committed the following overt acts, among others, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere:
    1. Presidential Inaugural Dinner
      1. In or about December 1992, defendant ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III on Tyson Foods' behalf paid $45,000 to the Presidential Inaugural Committee for a total of thirty (30) tickets, at $1,500 per guest, at three tables to attend the Presidential Inaugural Dinner to be held on January 18, 1993 at the Sheraton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C.
      2. On or before January 18, 1993, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, prepared a guest list for tables belonging to Tyson Foods at the Presidential Inaugural Dinner, which list included Mike Espy, the Secretary's girlfriend and two of his siblings.
      3. On or before January 18, 1993, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, on behalf of Tyson Foods, agreed to pick up and distribute to its invited guests the Tyson Foods tickets to the Presidential Inaugural Dinner.
      4. On or about January 18, 1993, in Washington, D.C., Secretary-designate Mike Espy, his girlfriend and two of his sisters attended the Presidential Inaugural Dinner as guests of Tyson Foods. Secretary-designate Espy and his girlfriend sat at Tyson Foods "Table 1," with Don Tyson, John Tyson, defendant ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and others. Defendant JACK L. WILLIAMS sat with Mike Espy's two sisters and others at Tyson Foods "Table 3."
    2. Russellville Birthday Party Weekend
      1. On or about April 21, 1993, Don Tyson, sent Secretary Espy an invitation to "A Musical Celebration -- Tyson Style," featuring live entertainment by B.B. King and Ronnie Milsap, a weekend gala event and birthday party by invitation only for John Tyson and Don Tyson's companion, together with a handwritten note, advising Secretary Espy that he would receive a formal invitation to a Saturday, May 15, 1993 meeting of the Arkansas Poultry Federation (APF) and further informing the Secretary that "the airplane" belonging to Tyson Foods would be available to transport him from Washington, D.C. to Arkansas and to "take you back Sunday."
      2. On or about April 27, 1993, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, sent to Secretary Espy at USDA, a letter, dated April 26, 1993, from the Arkansas Poultry Federation inviting him to a meeting on Saturday, May 15, 1993 at the Arkansas Tech University campus in Russellville, Arkansas.
      3. On or about April 27, 1993, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, sent a telefax transmission to Secretary Espy in Washington, D.C. of the same April 26, 1993 letter referred to in subparagraph 25(b)(ii) above.
      4. On or about May 11, 1993, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, advised Don Tyson's personal secretary that the Secretary's girlfriend would be attending the birthday party celebration and caused Don Tyson's personal secretary to make an airplane request, on SCHAFFER's behalf, for the Secretary's girlfriend to travel on a company aircraft from Washington National Airport to Russellville, Arkansas.
      5. On or about May 12, 1993, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, sent a telefax transmission to Secretary Espy's official USDA travel coordinator, in Washington, D.C., regarding Secretary Espy's trip to Russellville, Arkansas.
      6. On or about May 14, 1993, the Secretary's girlfriend flew on a Tyson Foods aircraft from Washington National Airport to Russellville, Arkansas.
      7. On or about the weekend of May 14-16, 1993, Tyson Foods provided approximately 120 guests, including Secretary Espy and his girlfriend, meals, live entertainment, transportation, lodging, recreational activities and other amenities.
      8. On or about May 16, 1993, at approximately 12:00 noon, Secretary Espy, his girlfriend and others departed Russellville, Arkansas on a Tyson Foods aircraft for the return flight to Washington, D.C.
      1. Tyson Foundation Scholarship
        1. On or about September 18, 1993, at a Congressional Black Caucus dinner in Washington, D.C., John Tyson, after speaking with Secretary Espy about delaying implementation of the Department of Agriculture's proposed interim rule mandating safe handling labels on meat and poultry products, had a conversation with a woman known to him to be the Secretary's girlfriend. During the conversation, John Tyson advised the Secretary's girlfriend, in part and in substance, about scholarship money available through the Tyson Foundation so that she might continue her education.
        2. On or about November 22, 1993, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, received by telefax transmission from the Secretary's girlfriend at her place of employment a letter addressed to John Tyson inquiring about scholarship money available from the Tyson Foundation.
        3. On or about November 22, 1993, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, sent the letter from the Secretary's girlfriend to John Tyson by telefax transmission to Springdale, Arkansas.
        4. On or about the morning of December 10, 1993, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, received a telefax transmission from the Tyson Foundation which included an application for scholarship money.
        5. On or about the afternoon of December 10, 1993, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, sent a telefax transmission of the application for scholarship money to the Secretary's girlfriend at her place of employment.
        6. On or about December 21, 1993, the Secretary's girlfriend sent a completed application for scholarship money by telefax transmission to the Tyson Foundation in Springdale, Arkansas.
        7. In or about December 1993 or January 1994, the exact date being unknown, Don Tyson directed the president of the Tyson Foundation to award the Secretary's girlfriend a scholarship.
        8. On or about January 3, 1994, the Tyson Foundation sent the Secretary's girlfriend a letter advising her that she was being provided with $1,200 in scholarship money and that additional funds would be available in the future subject to completion of a renewal application. The criteria for obtaining additional funds were set forth in the scholarship application, which indicated that scholarship money was available up to a maximum total of eight semesters, or approximately $9,600 in the case of the Secretary's girlfriend.
        9. On or after January 4, 1994, the Tyson Foundation provided the Secretary's girlfriend with a check in the amount of approximately $1,200, which she deposited the check into her personal bank account.
      2. Dallas Cowboys Playoff Game
        1. On or about September 14, 1993, at the Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, discussed with Secretary Espy attending a Dallas Cowboys football game.
        2. In or about the week of January 10-14, 1994, the exact date being unknown, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, discussed with the personal secretary to Don Tyson travel arrangements for the Secretary of Agriculture and his girlfriend to attend the January 16, 1994 National Football League playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers.
        3. On or about the afternoon of January 12, 1994, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, charged to his VISA credit card account a round trip flight reservation for the Secretary's girlfriend from Washington, D.C. to Dallas, Texas for January 15, 1994 and returning on January 16, 1994.
        4. On or about January 13, 1994, at approximately 10:19 a.m., JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, had a telephone conversation with the Secretary's girlfriend. Thereafter, WILLIAMS caused his limousine service driver to deliver airline tickets personally to the Secretary's girlfriend at her place of employment.
        5. On or about January 15, 1994, the Secretary's girlfriend traveled on American Airlines using a ticket provided by defendant JACK L. WILLIAMS from Washington National Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where she met Secretary Espy, who had flown from Lubbock, Texas.
        6. On or about January 15, 1994, upon arrival in Dallas, Texas, a limousine service arranged and paid for by Tyson Foods picked up Secretary Espy and his girlfriend at the airport and drove them to their hotel.
        7. On or about January 16, 1994, during the Dallas Cowboys - Green Bay Packers football game, Secretary Espy and his girlfriend were transported by a limousine service arranged for and paid by Tyson Foods to Love Field, Dallas, Texas, where they met with the party of Don Tyson, and then traveled together to Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas to attend the Dallas Cowboys' playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.
        8. On or about January 16, 1994, Secretary Espy and his girlfriend sat with Don Tyson and John Tyson in a Texas Stadium skybox owned by Tyson Foods.
        9. On or about January 16, 1994, following the football game, Secretary Espy and his girlfriend were transported by limousine service arranged for and paid by Tyson Foods from Texas Stadium to a shopping mall and then to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for the return trip to Washington, D.C.
        10. On or about February 1, 1994, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, submitted a monthly invoice to Tyson Foods that included a non-itemized amount of $1,600 for "Additional Wash. Expenses" incurred during the month of January 1994. WILLIAMS' monthly invoice was addressed to, approved by defendant ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III for payment, and paid by the company.
      3. Arkansas Razorbacks Basketball Game
        1. In or about December 10, 1993, at the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, invited the then Deputy Assistant Secretary, Marketing and Inspection Services, USDA, to meet with his client Tyson Foods in Arkansas and offered to obtain the then Deputy Assistant Secretary a ticket to a University of Arkansas Razorbacks basketball game.
        2. On or about January 12, 1994, at the 116 Club in Washington, D.C., ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III and JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendants, met the Acting Assistant Secretary to discuss, among other things, the itinerary for travel to Springdale, Arkansas to visit with Tyson Foods officials.
        3. On or about February 1, 1994, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant:
          1. upgraded the Acting Assistant Secretary's ticket from "coach" to "first class" for a February 2, 1994 return connecting flight from Nashville, Tennessee to Washington, D.C.;
          2. provided the Acting Assistant Secretary with a ticket for a seat located in a skybox owned by Tyson Foods for the University of Arkansas-Vanderbilt University basketball game that evening; and
          3. together with Don Tyson, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, and others, attended the Arkansas-Vanderbilt basketball game with the Acting Assistant Secretary and hosted the Acting Assistant Secretary in the skybox belonging to Tyson Foods at the University of Arkansas.
        4. On or about the morning of February 2, 1994, the Acting Assistant Secretary spoke at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Arkansas Poultry Federation and attended by defendant SCHAFFER about, among other things, USDA's "zero tolerance" policy for poultry products. Following the meeting, SCHAFFER escorted the Acting Assistant Secretary on a tour of the company's plant and facilities located in Springdale, Arkansas and then drove the Acting Assistant Secretary to the airport in Fayetteville.
        5. On or about the afternoon of February 2, 1994, defendant WILLIAMS met the Acting Assistant Secretary at the airport in Nashville, Tennessee, obtained her airline ticket, caused an "AAdvantage" upgrade sticker to be affixed to that ticket, and, as a result, received a boarding pass for the Acting Assistant Secretary for a "companion upgrade" to a seat in "first class" next to his for the return flight to Washington, D.C.

      4. Investigation
        1. On or about March 22, 1994, in Washington, D.C., JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, made materially false statements to agents of the Office of Inspector General, United States Department of Agriculture.
        2. On or about May 24, 1994, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, in his capacity as an officer of Tyson Foods stated that (i) SCHAFFER did not know who arranged for Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy to stay at the Tyson Management Development Center (TMDC) or attend the birthday dinner party held at the TMDC lodge on Saturday evening, May 15, 1993, and (ii) SCHAFFER had no knowledge of and was not involved in making, in any way, arrangements for the Secretary's girlfriend to fly to Russellville, Arkansas in May 1993 on a company aircraft and stay at the TMDC lodge, when in truth and in fact, as defendant SCHAFFER well knew (i) Don Tyson arranged for Secretary Espy to stay at the TMDC and attend the birthday dinner party, and (ii) on or about May 11, 1993, SCHAFFER caused the Aviation Department of Tyson Foods to transport the Secretary's girlfriend round trip from Washington, D.C. to Russellville, Arkansas so that she could attend the birthday party celebration together with Secretary Espy as guests of Tyson Foods.
        3. On or about June 9, 1994, in Washington, D.C., JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, made materially false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    (In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371)

    COUNT TWO

    MAIL FRAUD

    THE GRAND JURY FURTHER CHARGES:

  26. Paragraphs 1 through 17 of this Indictment are re-alleged and incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein.
  27. On or about April 27, 1993, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, ARCHIBALD R. SCHAFFER, III, the defendant, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud the United States of America, its citizens and USDA of their right to the honest services of the Secretary of Agriculture performed free from deceit, fraud, dishonesty, conflict of interest and unlawful compensation, for the purpose of executing such scheme and attempting to do so, knowingly caused to be delivered by the United States Postal Service, according to the directions thereon, from Springdale, Arkansas, to Secretary Espy, at the Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., a letter, dated April 26, 1993, from the Arkansas Poultry Federation inviting Secretary Espy to an event on May 15, 1993 coinciding with "A Musical Celebration -- Tyson Style."

    (In violation of Title 18, United States Code, 1341, 1346 and 2)

    COUNTS THREE THROUGH SIX

    WIRE FRAUD

    THE GRAND JURY FURTHER CHARGES:

  28. Paragraphs 1 through 17 of this Indictment are re-alleged and incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein.
  29. On or about the dates set forth below, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants named below, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud the United States of America, its citizens and USDA of their right to the honest services of the Secretary of Agriculture performed free from deceit, fraud, dishonesty, conflict of interest and unlawful compensation, for the purpose of executing such scheme and attempting to do so, transmitted and caused to be transmitted by means of wire communications in interstate commerce, the following writings and sounds:
    COUNT DEFENDANT DATE DESCRIPTION
    THREE SCHAFFER 4/27/93 Facsimile
    communication of
    letter, from Springdale,
    Arkansas to USDA,
    Washington, D.C.,
    inviting Secretary Espy
    to attend Arkansas
    Poultry Federation
    event on Saturday, May 15, 1993
    FOUR SCHAFFER 5/12/93 Facsimile
    communication of
    memorandum, from
    defendant SCHAFFER
    in Springdale,
    Arkansas to USDA in
    Washington, D.C.,
    providing Secretary
    Espy with travel and
    lodging arrangements
    for May 14-16, 1993
    weekend birthday party
    celebration
    FIVE WILLIAMS 12/10/93 Facsimile
    communication of
    blank scholarship
    application, from
    Tyson Foods in
    Springdale, Arkansas
    to defendant
    WILLIAMS, in
    Washington, D.C., for
    Secretary Espy's
    girlfriend
    SIX WILLIAMS 1/10/94 Telephone
    communications
    between defendant
    WILLIAMS in
    Washington, D.C. and
    Don Tyson's secretary
    in Springdale,
    Arkansas, regarding
    travel arrangements for
    Secretary Espy and his
    girlfriend to attend
    January 16, 1994
    Dallas Cowboys -
    Green Bay Packers
    NFL playoff game

    (In violation of Title 18, United States Code, 1343, 1346 and 2)

    COUNTS SEVEN THROUGH NINE

    MEAT INSPECTION ACT

  30. Paragraphs 1 through 17, and Paragraph 25 of this Indictment are re-alleged and incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein.
  31. On or about the dates set forth below, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants named below knowingly gave, paid and offered, directly and indirectly, things of value set forth below totaling approximately $5,018 to and for the benefit of the USDA official named below, an officer and employee of the United States authorized to perform duties prescribed under the Meat Inspection Act, with intent to influence such USDA official in the performance of his/her duties under the Meat Inspection Act:
    COUNT DEFENDANT DATE THINGS OF VALUE AMOUNT
    SEVEN SCHAFFER 5/15-16/93 Espy:

    Russellville
    birthday party,
    including airfare,
    meals, live
    entertainment,
    lodging,
    recreational
    activities and
    other amenities

    $2,556
    EIGHT WILLIAMS 1/15-16/94 Espy:

    Weekend
    football trip to
    Dallas, Texas,
    including airfare,
    limousines,
    parking, pre-game brunch,
    food and drink,
    and skybox
    tickets to Dallas
    Cowboys -
    Green Bay
    Packers NFL
    playoff game

    $2,271
    NINE WILLIAMS 2/1-2/94 Acting
    Assistant
    Secretary:

    Skybox seat at
    University of
    Arkansas -
    Vanderbilt
    University
    college
    basketball game
    and first class
    upgrade of
    airline ticket

    $191

    (In violation of Title 21, United States Code, 622 and Title 18, United States Code, 2)

    COUNTS TEN THROUGH THIRTEEN

    GRATUITIES TO PUBLIC OFFICIAL

    THE GRAND JURY FURTHER CHARGES:

  32. Paragraphs 1 through 17, and Paragraph 25 of this Indictment are re-alleged and incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein.
  33. On or about the dates set forth below, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants named below, otherwise than as provided by law for the proper discharge of official duty, knowingly directly and indirectly gave, offered, and promised the things of value set forth below totaling approximately $11,018, to and for the benefit of the public official and person selected to be a public official named below, an officer and employee of the United States and the United States Department of Agriculture, for and because of official acts performed and to be performed by such public official:

    COUNT DEFENDANT DATE THINGS OF VALUE AMOUNT
    TEN SCHAFFER 1/18/93 Espy:

    Four seats at
    Presidential
    Inaugural Dinner,
    Sheraton
    Washington
    Hotel,
    Washington, D.C.

    $6,000
    ELEVEN SCHAFFER 5/15-16/93 Espy:

    Russellville
    birthday party,
    including airfare,
    meals, live
    entertainment,
    lodging,
    recreational
    activities and
    other amenities

    $2,556
    TWELVE WILLIAMS 1/15-16/94 Espy:

    Weekend football
    trip to Dallas,
    Texas, including
    airfare,
    limousines,
    parking, pre-game brunch,
    food and drink,
    and skybox
    tickets to Dallas
    Cowboys - Green
    Bay Packers NFL
    playoff game

    $2,271
    THIRTEEN WILLIAMS 2/1-2/94 Acting Assistant
    Secretary:

    Skybox seat at
    University of
    Arkansas -
    Vanderbilt
    University college
    basketball game
    and first class
    upgrade of airline
    ticket

    $191

    (Title 18, United States Code, 201(c)(1)(A) and 2)

    COUNT FOURTEEN

    FALSE STATEMENTS

    THE GRAND JURY FURTHER CHARGES:

  34. Paragraphs 1 through 17, and Paragraph 25 of this Indictment are re-alleged and incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein.
  35. On or about March 18, 1994, the USDA Inspector General opened an investigation to consider whether prohibited sources, including Tyson Foods, had among other things, given, offered and promised things of value to USDA officials.
  36. It was material to the investigation to ascertain the role of JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, in providing to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Acting Assistant Secretary, directly and indirectly, things of value on behalf of Tyson Foods, a company that did business with, had various matters pending before and conducted activities regulated by USDA.
  37. On or about March 22, 1994, in the District of Columbia, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Inspector General, USDA, a department and agency of the United States, willfully and knowingly made materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations, to wit, defendant JACK L. WILLIAMS stated to two agents with the Office of the Inspector General, USDA, that he had heard only through rumor and news reports that the Secretary of Agriculture was a guest of Tyson Foods at the January 16, 1994 Dallas Cowboys football game and did not know if the Secretary of Agriculture actually was a guest at such a game, when in truth and in fact as JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, well knew, (i) he paid for the airline tickets of the Secretary's girlfriend so that she could attend the football game together with the Secretary of Agriculture as guests of Don Tyson and Tyson Foods in their corporate skybox at Texas Stadium and (ii) he discussed with Don Tyson's personal secretary, on or about January 10, 1994, arrangements for Secretary Espy and his girlfriend to attend the Dallas Cowboys playoff game.

    (In violation of Title 18, United States Code, 1001)

    COUNT FIFTEEN

    FALSE STATEMENTS

    THE GRAND JURY FURTHER CHARGES:

  38. Paragraphs 1 through 17, and Paragraphs 25 and 36 of this Indictment are re-alleged and incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein.
  39. On or about April 19, 1994, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation to consider, among other things, allegations of impropriety relating to the Secretary of Agriculture's attendance at the January 16, 1994 Dallas Cowboys game in Irving, Texas.
  40. On or about June 9, 1994, the New York Times published a news story which stated, in part and among other things, that "federal investigators are examining whether Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy illegally accepted free travel, tickets to sporting events and other gifts from Tyson Foods, Inc." The article further stated that the investigation "centers on a possible violation of the 1907 Meat Inspection Act, which makes it a crime for officials like Mr. Espy to receive any ‘thing of value' from any [regulated] company or person" and noted that the matter had been "referred" to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  41. On or about June 9, 1994, at his home in Washington, D.C., JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, was interviewed by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and, among other things, brought to their attention and provided to them a copy of the June 9, 1994 New York Times article referred to above.
  42. On or about June 9, 1994, in the District of Columbia, JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), an agency of the United States, willfully and knowingly made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations, to wit, defendant JACK L. WILLIAMS stated to two special agents of the FBI that (i) he did not remember talking to the girlfriend of Secretary of Agriculture Michael Espy on the telephone at any time and certainly not to make travel or other arrangements for her or Secretary Espy involving Tyson Foods or any other client, (ii) he did not have her telephone number, (iii) he did not know where she was employed, and (iv) he had no prior knowledge of Secretary Espy's social/travel plans, including the Secretary's attendance at the Dallas Cowboys/Green Bay Packers football game on January 16, 1994, when in truth and in fact, as JACK L. WILLIAMS, the defendant, well knew, (i) on or about December 10, 1993, he sent by facsimile transmission a blank application for scholarship money from the Tyson Foundation to the Secretary's girlfriend at her place of employment, (ii) on or about January 10, 1994, WILLIAMS had a telephone conversation with Don Tyson's personal secretary concerning arrangements for Secretary Espy and his girlfriend to attend the Dallas Cowboys playoff game, (iii) on or about January 11, 1994, he placed a call to the Secretary's girlfriend at her place of employment, (iv) on or about January 12, 1994, he caused Bell Travel to charge airfare on American Airlines in the amount of approximately $1,009 to his personal VISA account and to issue round trip airline tickets in the name of the Secretary's girlfriend, (v) on or about January 13, 1994, WILLIAMS caused his limousine service driver to deliver airline tickets to the Secretary's girlfriend personally at her place of employment, and (vi) on or about January 15-16, 1994, the Secretary's girlfriend used the airline tickets provided by WILLIAMS to attend the Dallas Cowboys playoff game with Secretary Espy as guests of Don Tyson and Tyson Foods.

(In violation of Title 18, United States Code, 1001)

DATED: January 15, 1998

Washington, D.C.

 



DONALD C. SMALTZ
Independent Counsel

A TRUE BILL

 

 

 



FOREPERSON

 

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