Contractor supplied substandard parts to the US military for its war machines.

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US defence contractor pleads guilty to 25 charges of fraud, money laundering and disclosure of military secrets

Yuksel SENBOL, 36, of Orlando, Florida, USA has pleaded guilty to 25 felony counts including conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, eight counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, seven counts of money laundering, conspiracy to violate the Export Control Reform Act, four counts of breaching the Export Control Reform Act and one count of breaching the Arms Export Control Act.

An investigation by the Department of Homeland's Homeland Security Investigations division working with multiple other departments and agencies found that " beginning in approximately April 2019, Senbol operated a front company in the Middle District of Florida called Mason Engineering Parts LLC. She used this front company to assist her co-conspirators, Mehmet OZCAN and Onur SINSEK, to fraudulently procure contracts to supply critical military components to the Department of Defense (sic). These components were intended for use in the U.S. Navy Nimitz and Ford Class aircraft carriers, U.S. Navy submarines, U.S. Marine Corps armoured vehicles, U.S. Army M-60 Series and Abrams tanks, and other weapons systems."

Senbol and her conspirators falsely represented to the U.S. government and to U.S. military contractors that Mason Engineering Parts LLC was a vetted and qualified manufacturer of military components, when in fact Ozcan and Simsek were manufacturing the parts in Turkey. Simsek’s involvement had to be concealed from the U.S. government because he had been debarred from contracting with the U.S. government after being convicted of a nearly identical scheme in the Southern District of Florida, prosecutors say.

To enable Ozcan and Simsek to manufacture the components in Turkey, Senbol helped them obtain sensitive, export-controlled drawings of critical U.S. military technology. Using software that allowed Ozcan to remotely control her computer — and thus evade security restrictions that limited access to these sensitive military drawings to computers within the United States — Senbol knowingly facilitated the illegal export of these drawings. She did so despite having executed numerous agreements promising to safeguard the drawings from unlawful access or export and despite the clear warnings on the face of each drawing that it could not be exported without obtaining a licence.

Once Ozcan and Simsek manufactured the components in Turkey, they shipped them to Senbol, who repackaged them, making sure to remove any reference to their Turkish origin. The conspirators then lied about the origin of the parts to the U.S. government and a U.S. government contractor to receive payment. Senbol then laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars in criminal proceeds back to Turkey through international wire transfers.

This scheme continued until uncovered and disrupted by federal investigators. Parts supplied by Senbol were tested by the U.S. military and were determined not to conform with product specifications. Many of the components supplied to the U.S. military by Senbol were “critical application items,” meaning that failure of these components would have potentially rendered the end system inoperable.

Senbol faces up to 10 years in prison for the conspiracy to defraud the United States offence and for each count of money laundering. She faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to violate the Export Control Reform Act, violating the Export Control Reform Act and violating the Arms Export Control Act. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 6.

Alleged conspirators Mehmet Ozcan and Onur Simsek are fugitives.