North Carolina Defense Contractor Pleads Guilty to $15 Million Fraud
NORFOLK, Va. – A Fayetteville defense contractor pleaded guilty today to his role in multiple conspiracies to overbill the federal government by more than $15 million on government contracts.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Philip A. Mearing, 48, is the owner of Global Services Corporation (Global). In 2004, Mearing, along with co-conspirators Kenneth Bricker and Ken Deines, entered into an agreement whereby fraudulent payments were made by Global to Bricker’s two straw corporations, Tempo and BPM, regarding hundreds of invoices for work and services on behalf of Global that were never performed by Tempo and BPM. As part of their agreement with Global, Mearing, Deines, and Bricker normally retained five percent of the fraudulent payments made by Global to Tempo and BPM. Shortly thereafter, Bricker transferred the remaining 95 percent of these fraudulent payments to Mearing and to DeShas, an Ohio LLC controlled by Mearing. From 2004 to 2014, Bricker received approximately $13.6 million in fraudulent payments from Global, retained approximately $558,000 for his personal use, and subsequently issued checks totaling approximately $13 million to DeShas or to Mearing.
In a separate conspiracy to defraud the government, Mearing, Deines, and William Hutsenpiller, the former Comptroller for Norfolk Ship Support Activity (NSSA), knowingly and willfully conspired to submit false claims to the government via false and/or fictitious invoices that resulted in a loss of approximately $1.8 million. The combined loss amount to the Government from the two separate conspiracies is $15,413,029.76.
Mearing pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on September 29. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Robert E. Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office; and Cliff Everton, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alan M. Salsbury and Stephen W. Haynie are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.