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Supplier sent faulty parts to MCA

ALBANY — Roger Charles Day Jr., a former “America’s Most Wanted” fugitive, was sentenced last month to 105 years in prison for his role in leading an international conspiracy to defraud the Department of Defense of more than $11.2 million by supplying nonconforming and defective parts for military aircraft, vehicles and weapons systems.

One of the entities impacted by Day’s fraud was Maintenance Center Albany, a tenant command of Marine Corps Logistics Command onboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.

Day, 47, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge John Gibney to forfeit 3,496 ounces of gold bars and coins, two sport utility vehicles and $2.1 million, which together represents his proceeds from the scheme. In addition, Gibney ordered Day to pay a $3 million punitive fine and $6.2 million in restitution to the Defense Logistics Agency, the DoD entity that he defrauded, a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice stated.

On Aug. 25, Day was found guilty on all counts following a nine-day jury trial. He was charged in August 2008 with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to engage in international money laundering and conspiracy to smuggle gold out of the U.S. He was extradited from Mexico in December 2010 following his arrest in Cancun resulting from a story which aired on the TV show “America’s Most Wanted.”

“Mr. Day’s greed put the men and women in the U.S. military in harm’s way,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride in a statement. “He is a serial fraudster who made millions by exploiting the military supply chain during a time of armed conflict. (December’s) sentence ensures that he will never again put our military in danger again.”

According to trial evidence and court documents, over a four-year period Day led a conspiracy to bid on and win contracts to provide parts to the U.S. for military aircraft, vehicles and weapons systems through the DLA, including through the DLA’s Defense Supply Center in Richmond, Va. The parts included “critical application items,” which are essential to weapons system performance or to the preservation of the lives and safety of operating personnel.

In the course of the scheme, Day and other conspirators, operating in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Belize, formed at least 18 separate companies that posed as legitimate contractors and collectively used a computer program to win nearly 1,000 lucrative contract awards for the various companies. He and his conspirators then shipped defective parts to the DoD on more than 300 of those contracts, receiving more than $4.4 million in payment on parts that Day purchased for less than $200,000.

In all known cases, the parts sent by Day and his conspirators could not be used for their intended purpose. One such example was a piston and slipper assembly used to rebuild the hydrostatic steer unit in the assault amphibious vehicle assembled by MCA employees.

The unit converts the movement of the steering controls from mechanical input to hydraulic input, which controls the steering of the vehicle. Officials from MCLB-Albany reported that, upon discovery of the faulty parts, a quality assurance specialist at MCA was assigned to conduct an investigation.

A product quality deficiency report followed in November 2006, which marked the beginning of what would be a five-year investigation by the Justice Department.

Attempts to get a comment from an official with LOGCOM by press time Friday were unsuccessful.

Day and his co-conspirators compounded the fraud by concealing their identities through the use of multiple nominee companies and by assuming others’ identities to operate the companies. When DoD requested proof that the companies had purchased and intended to supply the correct parts from approved manufacturers, Day and others submitted fabricated documents falsely representing that the correct parts had been purchased. When DoD debarred several of the companies from doing further business with the military, Day directed his conspirators to discontinue bidding through those companies and instead form and use new companies.

The evidence indicates that, to conceal the proceeds of the scheme and prevent recovery, Day directed his conspirators to transfer the scheme’s proceeds to offshore bank accounts and ultimately purchase more than 3,500 ounces in gold bars and coins.

Before starting his most recent scheme, Day was sentenced in August 1999 in the District of New Jersey to 97 months in prison for a similar scheme to defraud the DoD and other government agencies.