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Former Oregon National Guard employee sentenced to federal prison for $6 million fraud

A former civilian member of the Oregon National Guard who managed the repair of small-engine parts and generators for the military at Camp Withycombe pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to making false statements to the government. (The Oregonian|OregonLive/TNS)

An Oregon Military Department employee was sentenced to one year and one day in prison after a federal judge convicted him of making false statements and billing the Department of Defense for $6 million worth of repairs that were never done.

From 2009 to 2014, Dominic Caputo, 49, was the civilian program manager for the Oregon National Guard’s Oregon Sustainment Maintenance Site in Clackamas County. The program refurbishes out-of-service electronic equipment owned by the U.S. Department of Defense, deploying it to military bases in emergencies.

According to the U.S. attorney general’s office, in 2014 Caputo billed the army for more than $675,000 worth of repairs of John Deer diesel engines, but those machines had already been repaired and billed to the military in previous fiscal years. Caputo told his employees to remove and replace original serial numbers and identifying engine plates so that supervisors wouldn’t know he was billing for work that had already been done.

The Attorney General’s Office said Caputo also submitted a report to the army’s Communications-Electronics Command with falsified information about work that had been done on an engine. After submitting the falsified report, Caputo was fired in 2014.

According to the attorney general’s office, investigators don’t believe Caputo used the money for himself and instead think the fraud was a result of his ineffective management.

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Caputo was charged in federal court in September 2018 and pleaded guilty in early 2020 to one count of making a false and fraudulent writing. A judge ordered Caputo to pay $2.6 million in restitution.

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(c) 2020 The Oregonian

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.