JACKSON – The family who own Monmouth Marine has been charged with selling cheap substitutions to the Navy while billing the federal government for the more expensive parts.
Linda Mika, 69, and Paul Mika, 73, both of Jackson, New Jersey, and Kenneth Mika, 49, of Ewing, were arrested on July 29, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
They allegedly ran a years-long scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Defense, the charge stated. Charges are merely accusations until proven in a court of law.
“As described in the criminal complaint, these defendants sought to make a greater profit by substituting products that were not those they had contractually agreed to provide to the Department of Defense,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “By doing so, they potentially risked the safety of our men and women in uniform. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to root out this kind of fraud.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the scheme took place from at least March of 2017 to February of 2020. Monmouth Marine was an approved federal contractor. It contracted to supply the military’s Defense Logistics Agency with replacement parts for Naval vessels.
They allegedly lied to the government, saying they would be able to provide exact products made by authorized manufacturers. Instead, they sourced non-conforming substitute parts at a significantly reduced cost to themselves, while still billing the government for the better quality items. They would even ship products in packaging disguising the parts’ true manufacturer.
“Protecting the integrity of the defense procurement system is a top priority for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS),” Special Agent in Charge Leigh-Alistair Barzey, DCIS Northeast Field Office, said. “This case…confirms the DCIS’ ongoing commitment to work with the USAO-NJ and the FBI, to investigate and prosecute contractors who engage in fraudulent schemes targeting the U.S. Department of Defense.”
Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Joe Denahan said “These contractors of Monmouth Marine Engines Inc. knowingly provided substituted parts for military equipment for their own personal gain. We will continue to investigate these types of schemes and hold those who endanger the U.S. military accountable.”
The count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Barzey; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Denahan with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden of the U.S. Attorney=s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.