WASHINGTON - A Houston businessman was arrested last week and charged with bribery after allegedly paying a Resolution Trust Co. contract employee $10,000 to influence a bid for two mortgage notes.

Joseph Pankhurst, who owns Atlas Oil Co. and the Jetera Fuels Termination Corp., both in Houston, bid $560,000 for $5.6 million in two mortgages notes. He was arrested as he gave a cashier's check for the mortgages to RTC and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials posing as RTC closing agents.

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