Defense contractor guilty of providing old parts to Navy
By ERIK SLAVIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 22, 2012
A federal jury in Ohio found a defense contractor guilty on 39 counts of fraud and related offenses for knowingly providing out-of-date electronics critical to Navy nuclear reactors, submarines and aircraft.
Jerome Rabinowitz, 69, also known as Jerry Roth, sold the Navy military surplus and decades-old parts essential to weapons systems and safety, according to the indictment filed by federal prosecutors.
The convictions Friday include 25 counts of mail fraud, nine counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering and two counts of making false official statements.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost ordered Rabinowitz to forfeit $355,000, according to court documents.
Rabinowitz sold at least 21 shipments of parts that did not conform with federal guidelines in 2006-09 through his company, J&W Technologies LLC.
The non-conforming parts included transistors, semiconductors, voltage regulators and microcircuitry.
“The microcircuits are critical application items used on the Naval Nuclear Reactors Program,” the indictment stated. “The defendant supplied the Department of Defense non-conforming parts that did not meet government specifications and were over 26 years old.”
It remained unclear Wednesday how many of the parts that Rabinowitz sold were used by the Navy; however, past searches for suspect parts following investigations of contractors have proven costly. Last year, a search for falsely certified metal installed aboard multiple submarines and the under-construction aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford cost the Navy at least $1.3 million.
Rabinowitz faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each fraud count, up to 10 years for the money laundering counts and up to five years for each of the false official statements.