A judge in Portland sentenced a former civilian employee of the Oregon National Guard to a year in prison on charges that he fraudulently billed the U.S. Army for $6 million in repairs that were never done, U.S. Attorney Billy Williams announced.
Dominic Caputo, 49, who worked as a program manager for the Oregon National Guard's Oregon Sustainment Maintenance Site (OSMS) from 2009 to 2014, was sentenced Nov. 2 for making false statements in representing the operational status of military equipment used to maintain the Army's war-ready posture, Williams said in a news release.
OSMS supports the military's readiness and training by refurbishing out-of-service electronic equipment.
Caputo pleaded guilty Jan. 9, 2020, to U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut on one count of making a false and fraudulent writing; four counts of wire fraud were dismissed, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Caputo received one year and a day in federal prison, plus three years of supervised release. During sentencing, lmmergut ordered Caputo to pay $2.6 million in restitution, the amount of overbilling for labor that was never performed by Oregon National Guard employees at OSMS, according to the release.
In fiscal 2014, Caputo billed the Army's Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) more than $675,000 for the repair and rebuilding of John Deere diesel engines despite not performing the work, according to the release.
More than 60 engines had already been repaired and billed to CECOM in prior fiscal years. Caputo directed employees to remove and replace original serial numbers and identifying engine plates from the engines to conceal duplicate billing, according to the release.
In June 2014, Caputo "willingly and knowingly" prepared a fraudulent work order and test data indicating that repair work had been performed on an engine and submitted the false information to CECOM, Williams said in the release.
"This criminal investigation and prosecution demonstrates why misrepresenting the availability of essential equipment to the Department of Defense is a serious offense and will be punished accordingly," he added.
Caputo's employment with OSMS was "terminated" in November 2014 when the fraud was discovered, according to the release.
Williams pointed out in the release that there was no evidence that Caputo "engaged in the fraudulent conduct for his own financial enrichment."
"The fraud perpetuated an inefficient operation, and covered [the] defendant's own ineffective management," Williams said.
Caputo's case was investigated by multiple agencies, including the FBI, Defense Department, the Office of Inspector General's Defense Criminal Investigative Service and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
"Mr. Caputo's scheme to defraud the Department of Defense (DoD) violated the trust afforded to him by the Oregon National Guard, threatened the integrity of the DoD acquisition process, and wasted taxpayer money," Bryan D. Denny, special agent in charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service's Western Field Office, said in the release. "This investigation is yet another example of our agents and law enforcement partners working together to uncover corruption and protect taxpayers' dollars entrusted to the DoD."
-- Matthew Cox can be released at email@example.com.