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2 Plead Guilty in Painting Kickback

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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A paint department manager and a industrial cleaning contractor have pleaded guilty to a kickback scheme stemming from a Defense Department contract worth more than $500,000, federal authorities say.

Defendants William Ramsey and Robert Coker entered guilty pleas on Feb. 5, after Ramsey allegedly accepted more than $45,000 in kickbacks for hiring Coker's company to perform paint booth cleaning and maintenance. 

By entering the guilty pleas, both defendants agreed to waive indictment and arraignment. They each face up to 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines, and three years of supervised release. 

Force Protection Industries
www.army.mil

Force Protection Industries, contracted by the DOD for work on mine-resistant armor protected vehicles, took a kickback in hiring a subcontractor for paint stall maintenance.

The plea agreements can be viewed here (Coker) and here (Ramsey). 

$45K Kickback

Ramsey was the paint department manager for Force Protection Industries, a Department of Defense contractor in Ladson, SC, that manufactures mine-resistant armor protected vehicles. Force Protection Industries was the prime contractor for a contract issued by the U.S. Army's Tank and Automotive Life Cycle Management Command based in Warren, MI.

Coker was the principal owner and operator of REC's Industrial Preventative Maintenance Services, an industrial cleaning and maintenance contractor in Sumter, SC. 

According to court documents, Ramsey recommended to his company that paint booth cleaning and maintenance needed to be performed and was given the authority to seek out competitive bid proposals from industrial maintenance contractors.

At the direction of Ramsey, Coker's company was hired as a subcontractor and awarded a $510,355.20 contract from Force Protection Industries to clean paint stalls, court documents stated. 

The documents say Ramsey received about $45,244 in kickbacks from Coker, including a check for $800 in February 2009. 

DOD contracts
General Dynamics

Force Protection Industries was acquired by General Dynamics. The company previously manufactured several models of vehicles used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The court documents, known as "information," were filed Feb. 5 in the U.S. District Court for the South Carolina Charleston Division. Information documents outline probable cause and are filed in misdemeanor or felony cases where the accused has waived indictment and agreed to plead guilty. 

The information documents can be viewed here (Coker) and here (Ramsey). 

Ramsey and Coker will be sentenced at a later date. 

$18.6M Contract

Force Protection Industries, qualifying as a small business, was awarded a $18.6 million firm-fixed-price contract for Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicles in February 2006, according to the DOD

Force Protection Industries manufactured several models of ballistic and blast protected vehicles that were used in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other areas. In 2011, General Dynamics announced its $360 million acquisition of Force Protection Industries, adding the company into GD's Land Systems division. 

   

Tagged categories: Contractors; Department of Defense (DOD); Ethics; Government contracts; Laws and litigation; Painting Contractor; U.S. Army

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