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Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > Federal Crime > NASA Sub-Contractor Pleads Guilty to Federal Wire Fraud Charge

NASA Sub-Contractor Pleads Guilty to Federal Wire Fraud Charge


White collar crimes often involve allegations of financial fraud. For example, if the government believes that someone has filed false or fraudulent documents in order to obtain a financial benefit, that can lead to a prosecution of wire fraud. And you better believe the government will pursue such charges when the government itself is the alleged victim of such fraud.

Florida Executive Faces Jail, Must Repay Government Over $270,000

Just recently, the United States Attorney’s Office here in Orlando announced that the former chief executive of a government subcontractor agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud in connection with a contract to provide materials to one of Florida’s most high-profile government customers: NASA.

According to a criminal information filed by the U.S. Attorney this past January, the defendant was CEO of Gulf Atlantic International Supply, LLC, a Florida-based limited liability company. In 2012, NASA awarded a support contract to a company identified as “Company-1.” This contract required Company-1 to oversee ground systems operations at the Kennedy Space Center.

Acting under that contract, Company-1 sub-contracted with Gulf Atlantic between 2014 and 2021. The government alleged that during this period, the defendant knowingly submitted products to fulfill the sub-contract “that did not meet the quality standards and specifications” required by Company-1.

More to the point, the U.S. Attorney alleged the defendant emailed Company-1 a “fraudulent certificate” stating Gulf Atlantic complied with the terms of the contract. As a result, the government alleged that Company-1 paid Gulf Atlantic approximately $271,000 for parts that did not actually meet the agreed-upon requirements of Company-1 or NASA.

The defendant’s email served as the basis of the U.S. Attorney’s wire fraud charge. Under the terms of the defendant’s plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to this single allegation. In exchange, the U.S. Attorney agreed to recommend a “sentence at the low end” of the applicable federal sentencing guidelines. A federal judge will hold a formal sentencing hearing in May 2024. In addition to any jail time, the defendant must also pay full restitution to the federal government.

Are You Facing a Federal Criminal Charge? Call Us Today

It is important to understand that wire fraud requires the government to prove that the defendant acted with “intent to defraud.” Making an honest mistake is not a federal crime. Making false statements with the purpose of deceiving the government to pay you money you are not otherwise entitled to is, however–and using email or the Internet to do so makes it wire fraud.

On paper, wire fraud carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in federal prison. In practice, the actual sentence is decided by a judge who must consider a number of factors, including the amount of loss suffered by the victim and the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any). Still, even when the defendant is a first-time offender, they can still face several years in jail for a wire fraud conviction.

So if you are facing such allegations it is crucial that you work with an experienced Orlando federal crimes defense attorney who will aggressively represent your interests. Contact the Joshi Law Firm, P.A., today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our staff.



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