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Prominent Coos Bay manufacturer indicted for fraud in selling parts to U.S. Department of Defense


Kiowa Helicopter and C-5A Galaxy
Courtesy photos

A well known Coos Bay manufacturing company and the family that runs it has been hauled into federal court on allegations that it outsourced the making of parts for military equipment, including for Kiowa Helicopters and C-5A jet transport carriers. The U.S. Attorney in Portland claims the Bettencourt family and their Kustom Products Incorporated (KPI) had parts made in Mexico and China, with little attention to quality, lied to the military that the parts were made to military specifications, then pocketed the added profit. The Department of Defense contends the contract with Kustom Products was valued at over $7.5 million.

The indictment alleges that KPI’s Harold Bettencourt II, Kathy Sue Bettencourt, Bo Bettencourt, Nicholas Bettencourt, Peter Bettencourt Margo Densmore and Joshua Kemp all were principal players in an elaborate scheme to defraud the Defense Department. The indictment also alleges that all proceeds traceable to the fraud are to be forfeited including over $365,000 in funds from twenty bank accounts, eight vehicles, one boat, two boat trailers, two jet skis and three all-terrain vehicles.

The indictment also reveals that the lock nuts supplies by KPI were part of the Kiowa Helicopter’s main rotor assembly. They were also part of the C-5A’s engines and used by other aircraft.

If convicted, prison sentences range from 10 to 20 years and huge fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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