Owner and Employees of Monmouth County Marine Equipment and Servicing Company Charged with Defrauding U.S. Department of Defense
TRENTON, N.J. – Three Monmouth County, New Jersey, individuals were indicted today for their role in a years-long scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) by providing military equipment parts that were not authorized under the governing contracts, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Linda Mika, 70, and Paul Mika, 74, both of Jackson, New Jersey, and Kenneth Mika, 50, of Ewing, New Jersey, are charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud in connection with the scheme. Kenneth Mika was additionally charged with two counts of making false statements.
According to documents filed in this case:
From at least March 2016 through April 2020, the Mikas conspired with each other and others to defraud the DoD and one of its combat logistic support arms, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), by engaging in a pattern of unlawful product substitution. Paul Mika was the founder and owner of Monmouth Marine Engines Inc. (Monmouth Marine), a maritime equipment and servicing facility, which, as an approved federal contractor, also entered into contracts with DLA to supply DoD contracting entities with replacement hardware for DoD’s military branches. Linda Mika, Paul Mika’s wife, and Kenneth Mika, Paul and Linda Mika’s son, were employees of Monmouth Marine.
The Mikas, on behalf of Monmouth Marine, obtained contracts with the DoD by falsely claiming that the military parts they contracted to provide would be exact products furnished by authorized manufacturers or suppliers. Once awarded the contracts, however, the Mikas sourced non-conforming substitute parts at a significantly reduced cost to fill the contracts. They did this to maximize their profit margin while also suppressing fair competition in the bidding of federal contracts. Upon receipt by Monmouth Marine, the non-conforming parts were then shipped to DLA in packaging disguising the parts’ identities in an effort by the Mikas to deceive DLA and its unwitting downstream purchasers.
During an audit of Monmouth Marine conducted in February 2020, Kenneth Mika falsely stated to DLA auditors that Monmouth Marine had been authorized by certain representatives of the Defense Contract Management Agency to substitute parts under DLA contracts. Kenneth Mika repeated these false representations to FBI and Defense Criminal Investigation Service agents in July 2020.
Each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud is punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Each count of making false statements is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $250,00 fine.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of and the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Messenger with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden of the U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.