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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

California Sub-Contractor Consultant Pleads Guilty To Fraud Involving Boeing Contracts

St. Louis, MO –  ROBERT DIAZ JR., a consultant to a Boeing sub-contractor, pled guilty to fraud charges in connection with a bribery/kickback scheme involving Boeing military aircraft parts during May 2011 through April 2013.

Boeing Company Defense Space and Security Division is a defense contractor providing military-style aircraft to the United States Department of Defense and the United States armed services with offices and procurement operations located in St. Louis.  Deon Anderson was a Procurement Officer for Boeing, residing in the St. Louis area.

J. L. Manufacturing, of Everett, Washington, is an aerospace job machine shop specializing in hard metals, with the capability of producing small to medium-sized complex parts of ferrous and non-ferrous materials, and was a sub-contractor to Boeing on numerous United States government contracts.   Jeffrey Lavelle, owner and operator of J. L. Manufacturing, directed the day-to-day operations of the company and oversaw all financial aspects of the company.

Inland Empire and Associates, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada, is engaged in consulting to defense aircraft manufacturers and parts suppliers, including consulting for J. L. Manufacturing.  Robert Diaz, Jr. was the owner and operator of Inland Empire, and personally consulted to J. L. Manufacturing and Jeffrey Lavelle relative to numerous Boeing sub-contracts. 

According to the court documents, beginning in May 2011 and continuing through April 2013, Deon Anderson provided J.L. Manufacturing, through Lavelle and Diaz, non-public competitor bid information and historical price information in connection with one and more Boeing military aircraft part purchase order requests for quotes.  Lavelle used that information in preparing and submitting bids on behalf of J.L. Manufacturing to Boeing for approximately nine different Boeing requests for quotes relative to those various purchase orders. Of the those nine, J.L. Manufacturing was awarded seven purchase orders to supply United States military aircraft parts to Boeing totaling in excess of orders totaled approximately $2,052,746.  Diaz’s scheme went from May 2011 through April 2013. In exchange for that information they made cash payments to Anderson in St. Louis and in California.

Robert Diaz, Jr., Alta Loma, CA, pled guilty to two felony counts of mail fraud and one felony count of wire fraud before United States District Judge Henry Autrey, in St. Louis.  Sentencing has been are set for September 2, 2014.

Co-defendant William P. Boozer, Hacienda Heights, California, pled guilty to related charges in May and is scheduled for sentencing August 15, 2014. 

Co-defendants Deon Anderson, St. Louis; and Jeffrey Lavelle, Mukilteo, WA; are facing related charges and are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Each count of mail and wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, NASA-Office of Inspector General, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Navy Criminal Investigative Service and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Updated March 19, 2015