Monmouth Marine owner, employees charged with defrauding U.S.

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BRIELLE — The owner and two employees of Monmouth Marine Engines, Inc have been arrested and charged with defrauding the U.S. Department of Defense [DOD], U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Paul Mika, 73, and his wife Linda, 69, of Jackson, and their son Kenneth, 49, of Ewing were arrested Wednesday at the maritime equipment and servicing facility, located at 536 Union Lane.

The Mikas, who were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, were scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman in Trenton federal court following their arrest.

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According to the criminal complaint, the Mikas “knowingly and intentionally” conspired to defraud the United States by “engaging in a pattern of unlawful product substitution.” The complaint claims the conspiracy began around March 2017 and continued through February 2020 “by means of wire communications in interstate and foreign commerce.”

“As described in the criminal complaint, these defendants sought to make a greater profit by substituting products that were not those they had contractually agreed to provide to the Department of Defense,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “By doing so, they potentially risked the safety of our men and women in uniform. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to root out this kind of fraud.”

The complaint states that the company, an approved federal contractor, entered into contracts with the Defense Logistics Agency [DLA] to supply DOD contracting entities with replacement parts for Naval vessels.

The complaint continues that the Mikas obtained contracts under false pretenses, and once awarded contracts by the DLA would use unauthorized and cheaper replacement parts instead of the required parts. It states that the non-conforming parts were then shipped in “packaging disguising the parts’ identity in an effort by the Mikas to deceive DLA and its unwitting downstream purchasers.”

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