A South Korean national working as a contractor with the Defense Logistics Agency has pleaded guilty to defrauding the United States Department of Defense.
The Department of Justice statement indicates that the accused identified as Hyun Dong Jo defrauded DoD over $280,000 for work not completed.
He was contracted to oversee the hazardous waste removal, testing, disposal within the U.S. military installations in South Korea. Jo, however, forged lab reports and invoices for testing and analysis for uncompleted work.
“The defendant forged lab results and falsely reported them to the Department of Defense. Not only is this unsafe for the U.S. Forces installations in Korea where hazardous waste was not actually tested, but it also defrauded the Department of Defense out of $280,000. This office takes Jo’s conduct seriously and will continue to hold accountable anyone who attempts to defraud the government in this way,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel for the Southern District of Ohio.
Accused falsified lab reports for payments
The accused began the scheme in February 2015 until June 2018, where he presented hundreds of falsified lab reports. U.S. Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit Director Frank Robey states that:
“Taking advantage of the DoD contracting system for one’s own enrichment is a clear violation of the law. Our agents and our law enforcement partners will steadfastly pursue this type of scheme and all fraud that erodes the rule of law and the trust between the DoD and the contracting community.”
The DOJ lawyers state that Jo’s action means that hazardous waste poses a significant risk due to lack of testing.
By pleading guilty, Jo is staring at a prison sentence of 20 years alongside a maximum fine of $250,000.
However, the penalty will potentially increase depending on the gain derived from the crime or twice the Defense Department’s loss.