A U.S. District Court judge on Tuesday found the owner of an Anaheim manufacturing firm guilty of faking government-test results on electronic circuit boards used in the space shuttle and several other aerospace and military weapons programs.
In addition, six employees at Calprotech Inc. pleaded guilty this week to various charges in connection with the case.
U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian found the owner and president of Calprotech, David Ross, 50, currently of Penn Valley in Northern California, guilty of faking test results after prosecutors and FBI officials presented the court with a 40-page pretrial memorandum that detailed four years of defense contractor fraud under Ross' management.
The memorandum describes Ross as a heavy-handed authoritarian who imposed his scheme on supervisors and managers, who, in turn, tacitly complied with the conspiracy and did little to conceal the misconduct from lower-level employees.
The six former Calprotech employees who pleaded guilty in the case were Kyle Gulley of Buena Park; Gary Davies of Tustin; Mark Richardson of Spring Valley; Timothy Scott of Fontana, Eric Trunnell of Corona and David Jerdeman of Riverside
All of the convicted men "have been suspended from working in the military circuit-board area," said Assistant U.S. Atty. Michael Emmick.
According to prosecutors, Ross rigged the system of checking circuit boards which, after having been used, had to be tested to ensure that they still complied with government specifications. According to proper procedure, a part of the board called a "coupon" was tested. Coupons, according to design, were circuits that could be removed and tested without destroying the entire board.
Ross manufactured entire boards made up of only "coupons," which were available for substitution into boards that failed.
Federal investigators learned of the misconduct in March, 1986, after a former Calprotech employee went to a defense contractor with evidence of the fraud. The contractor took it to the FBI.
Ross, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 26, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Calprotech made circuit boards for both commercial and government use. It supplied boards for the Bell AH1 helicopter, the Global Positioning Satellite and others.
Prosecutors said Calprotech's circuit boards, though improperly certified, had not been found to be faulty.