Family Charged With Selling Subpar Equipment To Military

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  BRIELLE – A marine engine supply store was charged with selling equipment to the military that was not what the Defense Department wanted, and covering up the switch.

  Linda Mika, 70, and Paul Mika, 74, both of Jackson, and Kenneth Mika, 50, of Ewing, were charged 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.

  Their business, Monmouth Marine Engines, was an approved federal contractor. Police said they won a contract with the Defense Logistics Agency to provide them with equipment from authorized manufacturers. However, from “at least” March 2016 through April 2020, they provided non-conforming substitute parts. These were cheaper, and put in packaging of the more expensive item before being shipped to the military.

  During an audit of the company and subsequent interviews, Kenneth Mika told government officials that he had the approval to do this. These were false statements, officials said.

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  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 Philip Sellinger credited 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.

  Charges are merely accusations until proven in a court of law.