Department of Justice seal U.S. Department of Justice

Debra Wong Yang
United States Attorney
Central District of California


United States Courthouse
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2005
For Information, Contact Public Affairs
Thom Mrozek (213) 894-6947

OWNER OF ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS SENTENCED TO 2 YEARS FOR SELLING UNAPPROVED AIRCRAFT PARTS TO U.S. AIR FORCE


Los Angeles, CA - A businessman who owns an Orange County aircraft parts brokerage company has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for selling unapproved aircraft parts to the United States military.

Michael Joseph Murphy, 34, of Huntington Beach, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by United States District Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler in Santa Ana. In addition to the prison term, which Murphy will begin serving in 90 days, Judge Stotler ordered the defendant to pay $99,560 in restitution.

A federal jury in February convicted Murphy of two felony counts: making a false claim to the United States and submitting a false statement to the Department of Defense. The criminal conduct related to Murphy's Huntington Beach business, Primetech, which sold vane actuation arms to the United States Air Force. The vane arms are used by the Air Force in its C-5 transport plane. The $99,560 contract with the military required that the parts come from the original manufacturer, General Electric, or from two other previously certified and approved sources.

The evidence presented at trial showed that Murphy provided parts that were not only from an unapproved source, but had previously been rejected by the Air Force. While the contract required that the parts be inspected by a government representative, Murphy shipped the parts before any inspection could be conducted. After shipping the parts, Murphy billed the government.

When the Department of Defense contacted Murphy to advise him that the parts had to be inspected, and a government inspector had to sign a form, Murphy signed the form himself and returned it to the government. Primetech was ultimately paid $99,560 on the contract and has not returned the money. None of the parts were ever installed in military aircraft.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

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Release No. 05-108

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