Seven plead guilty to corruption at Navy aircraft repair facility
Four civilian employees of the U.S. Navy and three defense contractors have pleaded guilty in what U.S. Atty. Laura Duffy calls a "wide-ranging fraud and corruption scheme" at an aircraft repair facility at North Island Naval Air Station on Coronado.
The Navy employees received more than $1 million in cash and gifts in exchange for approving padded bills from the contractors, prosecutors said. In all, the Department of Defense paid more than $5.5 million in connection with the fraudulent invoices, according to court documents.
The Navy employees received cash, checks, retail gift cards, flat-screen television sets, furniture, home appliances, bicycles, model airplanes, home remodeling services and luxury massage chairs.
Pleading guilty were Navy employees Donald Vangundy, 54, of Chula Vista; Kiet Luc, 53, of San Diego; Brian Delaney, 55, of La Mesa; and David Lindsay, 57 of San Diego. Also pleading guilty were contractors John Newman, 51, of Poway; Michael Graven, 43, of Carlsbad; and Paul Grubiss, 39, of Wickliffe, Ohio.
The Navy employees were at the Fleet Readiness Center at North Island, with responsibility for securing parts and tools for the E-2 Hawkeye and the C-2 Greyhound. The Hawkeye is a tactical airborne early warning aircraft; the Greyhound is a derivative of the Hawkeye.
The seven are set for sentencing July 2 in San Diego federal court.
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: An E-2C Hawkeye lands aboard the carrier Abraham Lincoln in the North Arabian Sea. Credit: Navy Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Brian Morales