FALLS CHURCH, Va. - The owner of a Florida-based supplier of tactical gear has been indicted on charges he passed off inferior body armor to a government agency.
Dan Thomas Lounsbury Jr., the owner of Tactical Products Group in Boynton Beach made an initial appearance Friday in federal court in Alexandria on charges including conspiracy to defraud the government and wire fraud.
A company vice president, Andres Lopez-Munoz, is also charged and made an initial appearance.
According to the indictment, Tactical Products Group worked as a subcontractor in 2012 to supply 10 sets of a specific type of body armor to an unspecified government agency. Prosecutors say the company used cheaper plates and put phony labels on them.
The cheaper plates were used even after the primary contractor explicitly told Tactical Products Group that substitutes for the specific body armor plates requested in the contract would not be allowed, the indictment says.
Despite the clear instructions, prosecutors say that Lopez-Munoz asked one supplier in an email, “By chance do you have anything a little cheaper? ... Budget is a big deal on this requirement more so than the exact plate.”
Lounsbury’s lawyers, Tim Belevetz and John Brownlee, said Friday in a statement that they expect their client to be exonerated.
“Dan has dedicated much of his professional life to serving our nation — both in uniform and in other government positions — and would never allow his company to sell a product he believed was unsafe,” they said.
Lopez-Munoz’s attorney, Stuart Sears, noted in a statement that at one point in the process the government actually requested a different type of plate than the initial one requested.
“The allegations in the indictment relate to a single transaction from a single contract that occurred over 5 years ago,” Sears said. “We strongly dispute the allegations.”
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