Defense contractor accused of selling phony parts

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Associated Press

Posted on April 25, 2014 at 5:30 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new indictment accuses a Coos Bay, Ore., defense contractor of defrauding the military of $10.5 million by supplying phony truck and helicopter parts.

The indictment was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Portland against Harold Ray Bettencourt, his company, Kustom Products Inc., and several family members and other employees. It raises the value of contracts covered by criminal charges from the $7.5 million listed in a 2011 indictment.

Arraignment has been set for April 30.

Defense attorney Marc Blackman did not return a call seeking comment. The defendants all pleaded not guilty to the earlier indictment.

The investigation began when Army National Guard mechanics found defects in a critical nut that secures the rotor on the Kiowa armed scout helicopter in 2008.

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