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.
James W. Kraus, of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP, has been selected as the recipient of the DRI’s Albert H. Parnell Outstanding Program Chair Award which will be presented during the DRI Annual Meeting on October 17 in Chicago, Illinois. This award honors a program chair who created a dynamic educational program enhancing… Read more »Read More
James W. Kraus has been appointed to serve as the Chair of the Directors and Officers Coverage Subcommittee of the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) Government Enforcement and Corporate Compliance Committee (GECC). DRI is the largest international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation. The GECC provides opportunities for education… Read more »Read More
Nationally-recognized qui tam attorney, Marc S. Raspanti, will be speaking at the Federal Bar Association’s 2020 Qui Tam Conference in Washington, DC on Thursday, February 27, 2020. This two-day conference will feature experienced FCA litigators from a variety of perspectives who will dive into advanced topics and discuss emerging trends and key developments pertaining to… Read more »Read More
Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP Partner Michael A. Morse will be presenting at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s (“PBI”) Health Law Institute on March 11-12, 2020. Mr. Morse’s session topic is, “Preparing for the Fight of Your Life: Anatomy of a Health Care Fraud Prosecution.” The PBI notes that the Health Law Institute is,… Read more »Read More