Roger Sobrado of Evesham agrees to forfeit $7.5 million for alleged fraud
CAMDEN - An Evesham businessman has agreed to forfeit $7.5 million as part of a guilty plea to an alleged defense-contracting fraud.
Roger Sobrado also must pay more than $500,000 to the Internal Revenue Service, representing income taxes that were evaded over a five-year period, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey.
Sobrado, 48, conspired to defraud the Department of Defense while running two West Berlin companies, Tico Manufacturing Inc. and Military and Commercial Spares Inc., according to a charging document.
The businesses made or obtained spare parts for the military, then falsely claimed they came from approved sources, the federal prosecutor's office said.
Sobrado also was accused of illegally providing "one or more foreign nationals" with technical data "related to the design and manufacture of defense hardware items and spare parts," according to a federal information.
Sobrado obtained the information through the Defense Department's bidding process, it said.
A website for Tico Manufacturing notes the firm has "been partners with the US Government, aerospace and military contractors since 2004, with over 500,000 technical drawings in our extensive database."
It describes the firm as a parts supplier "for high profile equipment such as the fighter jets, unmanned drones, missile systems, military vessels, combat vehicles and many others."
Sobrado pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to commit wire fraud and to violate the federal Arms Export Control Act between January 2011 and December 2015.
He also admitted guilt in federal court, Camden, to tax evasion during the years from 2010 through 2014.
Among other allegations, the information said Sobrado diverted about $1.2 million from his companies' banks accounts. The money went toward luxury vehicles and other personal expenses, court papers say.
According to the information, Sobrado "recruited various family members to create companies that would submit false and fraudulent bids on Department of Defense contracts."
Jim Walsh: @jimwalsh_cp; 856-486-2646; email@example.com
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