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Weinberger: US has spurred convictions for defense fraud

The Pentagon is cracking down sharply on contractor fraud and inefficiency to cut costs in the nation's vast and complicated military procurement system, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger said Thursday.

''We are sending a message to those troublesome few who think it is easy to swindle the Pentagon,'' he said in a speech to the Federal Procurement and Trade Conference in Indianapolis.

Mr. Weinberger reported that Pentagon and Justice Department lawyers nearly doubled the number of fraud convictions in the last fiscal year, gaining more than $14 million in fines and recoveries from offending contractors.

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