By: James W. Kraus
On December 10, 2012, DOJ announced that British contractor APTx Vehicle Systems Limited had entered into an agreement to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Coalition Provisional Authority that governed Iraq from April 2003 to June 2004, the government of Iraq and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
The case centers on a fraudulent scheme involving an August 2004 contract valued at over $8.4 million for the procurement of 51 vehicles for the Iraqi Police Authority. The criminal information, to which APTx agreed to plead guilty as part of the deal, further charges that in May and June of 2005, APTx submitted shipping documents to JP Morgan, who had issued letters of credit for payment under the contract, so that APTx could draw down on the letters of credit. However, the shipping documents asserted that all 51 vehicles were produced and ready to ship to Iraq when, in fact, none of the vehicles had been built, none of the vehicles were legally owned or held by APTx and none of the vehicles were in the process of transport to Iraq. The fraudulent shipping documents also listed a company as the freight carrier that APTx knew was not a shipping company and named a fictitious company as the freight forwarder.
Benjamin Kafka, a representative for APTx in the United States, was charged in 2009, with one count of misprision of a felony in connection with his role in the conspiracy. The government alleged that Kafka allowed APTx to use his corporate name and identity as the freight carrier and freight forwarder on the fraudulent shipping documents presented to JP Morgan.
As part of the plea agreement filed with the information, APTx agreed to pay a criminal fine of $1 million. A civil settlement agreement resolving a related action filed under the False Claims Act was also announced.
Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP, a business and litigation law firm with five offices across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, is proud to announce that nineteen of our distinguished attorneys have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021 edition. “The legacy of our law firm is the depth of our courtroom… Read more »Read More
Pietragallo partners John Schwab and Jim Kraus will be discussing topics related to federal criminal practice in a four-hour symposium hosted by the Allegheny County Bar Association on Friday, April 24th, 2020. Do you have your first criminal case in Federal Court or do you practice criminal defense and need a refresher on the specifics… Read more »Read More
Nationally-recognized False Claims Act Attorney Pamela C. Brecht will present “The False Claims Act and Dealing with Whistleblowers” at Seton Hall University School of Law on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Ms. Brecht, Chair of the Firm’s Qui Tam & False Claims Act practice, will be co-presenting with Morgan Lewis Partner Meredith S. Auten. For more… Read more »Read More
Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP Partner Pamela Coyle Brecht will present “The False Claims Act Update” at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s (PBI) A Day in Health Law program on October 28, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A Day on Health Law is a one-day, six-hour spin-off of PBI’s annual Health Law Institute. The Health… Read more »Read More