The owner and chief executive officer of an armored vehicle company was sentenced today to 70 months in prison for his role in orchestrating a scheme to defraud the United States by providing the U.S. Department of Defense with armored gun trucks that did not meet ballistic and blast protection requirements set out in the company’s contracts with the United States.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle of the Western District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Lee of the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia, Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office made the announcement.
William Whyte, 72, of King City, Ontario, the owner and CEO of Armet Armored Vehicles of Danville, Virginia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jackson L. Kiser of the Western District of Virginia, who also ordered Whyte to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence and to pay restitution in the amount of $2,019,454.36.
On Oct. 9, 2017, after a two-week trial, Whyte was found guilty of three counts of major fraud against the United States, three counts of wire fraud and three counts of criminal false claims. Whyte was charged by an indictment in July 2012.
Evidence at trial demonstrated that Whyte executed a scheme to defraud the United States by providing armored gun trucks that were deliberately under-armored. Armet contracted to provide armored gun trucks for use by the United States and its allies as part of the efforts to rebuild Iraq in 2005. Despite providing armored gun trucks that did not meet contractual specifications, Whyte and his employees represented that the armored gun trucks were adequately armored in accordance with the contract, the evidence showed. Armet was paid over $2 million over the course of the scheme, the evidence showed.
The case was investigated by the FBI and DCIS. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Caitlin Cottingham of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Carlton of the Western District of Virginia.
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