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Investigation of HUD in Full Swing

Prominent Denver developer is expected to be the next target of independent counsel's probe

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THE independent-counsel investigation of corruption at the Reagan-era Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proceeding full-speed ahead.

Yesterday, another trial was set to begin: Developer Victor Cruise, a business partner of GOP political consultant Paul Manafort, faces four felony counts in United States District Court in Washington for allegedly lying to a grand jury about his role in seeking HUD funds for a low-income housing project in Savannah, Ga.

Mr. Cruise's trial comes just a week after three other men were convicted of giving illegal gratuities to a top HUD official. But the three, including Lance Wilson, a one-time chief assistant to former HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce, were cleared of more serious charges of wire fraud, conspiracy, and bribery. Grand jury meets tomorrow

Teresa Duggan, a spokeswoman for independent counsel Arlin Adams, says the investigation is proceeding and "will involve more indictments." A federal grand jury is scheduled to meet tomorrow to hear evidence in the case.

Informed sources do not believe the independent counsel has sufficient evidence yet to move against either Mr. Pierce or former Sen. Edward Brooke (R) of Massachusetts, a prominent lobbyist on behalf of firms that received HUD funds in the 1980s.

Instead, speculation about who will be the next target centers around Philip Winn, a former assistant secretary of housing who was US ambassador to Switzerland from 1988 to 1989. Business associates of Mr. Winn may also be targeted.

After leaving HUD, Winn ran a Denver-based development firm called the Winn Group, which received about $163 million in federal subsidies and tax credits, congressional investigators say.


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