Feed the Children founder answers bribe accusation

Thursday, October 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Feed the Children founder Larry Jones says his organization has been the subject of bribe demands in foreign countries, but has never paid one.

A former employee of Feed the Children claims he quit after refusing to cover up 20-thousand dollars in bribes to Russian officials.

Jones says the company has been asked for bribes on more than one occasion, including a 30-thousand dollar request in 1998 from Russian customs officials.

The group says the officials were keeping food and emergency supplies belonging to Feed the Children in a warehouse. Spokesman Tim Hackler says the group paid a 58-thousand dollar government fee to have the items released.

Former Feed the Children employee Wesley Billings of Yukon says a supervisor at the group asked him to create false paperwork in 1998 to cover up bribes to Russian officials, which he refused to do. Billings quit the group shortly afterward.