WASHINGTON - Agents of the FBI and Resolution Trust Corp. arrested two men in San Antonio last week on charges of bribing agency officials to guarantee a bid for an RTC-owned office building.

It was the first operation in which RTC officials went undercover to thwart an alleged bribe.

A criminal complaint charged Morris Cukier and George Gardner with attempting to pay two RTC employees in connection with a $65,000 bid on an RTC-owned promissory note collateralizing a commercial office building.

The note was valued at around $500,000, and the building was valued at $250,000 to $300,000, said Lew Sherman, the RTC's deputy assistant inspector general.

Mr. Cukier was arrested when allegedly attempting to bribe the agents. Mr. Gardner, currently on probation for drug-related charges in Texas, was arrested shortly thereafter.

Solomon Wisenberg, assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, said the bribe was $5,000, and the accused men posted bonds of $2,500.

"We view RTC corruption as a high-priority item, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute it," Mr. Wisenberg said. Mr. Sherman said further charges are pending, but he would not elaborate before an indictment has been issued.

Other Bribery Attempts

He said there have been other attempts to bribe RTC officials. For example, an RTC worker was allegedly offered $1 million by a Bolivian citizen seeking help in acquiring CenTrust Tower in Miami.

In another case, a Russian attempted to use a bribe to reduce a $165,000 personal note. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in jail.

A California businessman allegedly offered an RTC employee $500 cash and an $80,000 promissory note to facilitate the sale of a single-family development in California.

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