Aug 22, 2009

SAN JOSE, Calif.: Janusz Lament pleaded guilty in federal court today to making false financial claims against the United States Department of Defense, wire fraud, and transporting money out of the United States to further unlawful activity, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced.

In pleading guilty, Lament, admitted that while he was the owner of Polex Precision Machining in Santa Clara, Calif., he entered into contracts with the United States Department of Defense to make several items, including brake pads for Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and then intentionally failed to make them according to the specifications in the contracts. Lament then lied to the Department of Defense by filing falsified certificates of conformance stating that he had complied with the contract specifications when in fact, he had not. Both the United States and Lament agreed that the brake pads were installed in Bradley Fighting Vehicles out in the field, including in current theatres of combat, and therefore investigators were unable to determine how many brake pads, if any, had failed. Lament was then paid money by the Department of Defense that he was not entitled to. He wired most of the funds overseas to a bank account he controlled in Poland. As part of the plea agreement, Lament agreed to pay full restitution.

Contractors responsible for manufacturing equipment used by the U.S. military must be held to the highest standard – the lives of our service men and women depend on it, said Mark Wollman, special agent in charge for the ICE Office of Investigations in San Francisco. In his zeal to boost profits, this defendants illegal actions could have easily come at the expense our soldiers safety. ICE will continue to aggressively target and investigate those who jeopardize our nations security or the welfare of those devoted to protecting it.

“CID will diligently protect the integrity of the federal contracting process by aggressively investigating fraud and other crimes that compromise military readiness and the safety of our men and women in uniform,” said Brigadier General Rodney Johnson, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Lament, 49, now resides in Poland, but at the time of the offense was a resident of Santa Clara. He was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on September 24, 2008. He was charged with four counts of wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 1343; four counts of filing a false claim with the United States in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 287; and three counts of transferring money out of the United States to promote unlawful activity, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, section 1956(a)(2)(A). Under the plea agreement, Lament pled guilty to all counts.

Lament is free on bail pending sentencing, which is scheduled for Nov. 23 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Ronald M. Whyte in San Jose. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud is 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of filing a false claim is five years imprisonment, a $1 million fine, and restitution; and the maximum statutory penalty for each count of transporting money out of the United States to promote unlawful activity is 20 years imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, and restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Gary G. Fry is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of legal technician Jeanne Carstensen. The prosecution is the result of a two year joint investigation by the U.S. Armys Criminal Investigation Command, the Department of Defenses Office of the Inspector General and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.