A Coos Bay family business is under federal investigation for allegedly supplying the military with defective, knock-off products.
Kustom Products Inc. took on more than $31 million in Defense Department contracts between 2005 and 2009.
Company president Harold Ray Bettencourt, his ex-wife and the couple’s four adult sons paid themselves nearly $3.7 million between June 2007 and December 2009 from mark-ups of 22 percent to 3,745 percent on their military contracts, according to court documents. A Defense Department investigation allegedly turned up their flawed, look-alike parts as far away as Kuwait.
They got caught when military mechanics found some of the parts defective — including a locking nut that secures the main rotor to the mast of Kiowa helicopters, according to [Defense Department special agent James] McMaken.
That part is reportedly called a “Jesus nut” in military parlance because, if it fails, “you’re going to meet Jesus.”
Read more at The Register-Guard.
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