Two Corrupt Defense|Contractors Get Prison

SAN DIEGO (CN) – Two defense contractors were sentenced Monday to 3 years in federal prison for conspiring to steal $7 million from the United States.
     Two people and a corporation were sentenced for “a fraud and corruption scheme” at Naval Air Station North Island, in Coronado, near San Diego, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
     Robert Ehnow, 46, of Coronado, owner and president of Poway defense contractor L&N Industrial Tool & Supply, was sentenced to 3 years in prison and ordered to pay $760,000 in restitution to the Navy.
     Joanne Loehr, 52, of La Jolla, owner and president of Poway defense contractor Centerline Industrial, was sentenced to 3 years in prison and ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution to the Navy.
     Loehr’s company, Centerline, was ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution.
     A jury convicted them in February of conspiracy and bribery.
     “The evidence presented at trial showed that as part of the conspiracy, defense contractors provided Navy officials with a wide range of personal benefits, including cash, checks, retail gift cards, flat screen television sets, luxury massage chairs, bicycles costing thousands of dollars, model airplanes, and other items. In return, the Navy officials placed millions of dollars in government orders with the defense contractors,” the U.S. attorney said in the statement.
     “Additionally, the defense contractors prepared and submitted fraudulent invoices to the Department of Defense, making it appear that they were billing the Department for goods and services within the scope of legitimate government contracts. In fact, the Defense Department was unknowingly paying for, among other things, the cost of bribes provided to the Navy officials. Compounding the cost of the fraud, the defense contractors also routinely charged a markup on the fraudulent invoices.”
     Eleven people have been sentenced in the conspiracy, including five Navy officers who took a total of more than $1 million in bribes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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