Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

TWO U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CONTRACTORS PLEAD GUILTY FOR THEIR ROLE IN A CONSPIRACY INVOLVING AVIAITION FUEL SUPPLY

On July 29, 2008, Paul Wilkinson and Christopher Cartwright, two U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”) contractors, pled guilty to defraud the United States, commit wire fraud and steal trade secrets from Matthew Bittenbender, another U.S. DOD contractor.
In a three-count indictment returned on Dec. 5, 2007, and unsealed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Christopher Cartwright and Paul Wilkinson were charged for their roles in the conspiracies. Along with Cartwright and Wilkinson, two affiliated companies – Prague, Czech Republic-based Far East Russia Aircraft Services Inc. (“FERAS”) and the Isle of Man-based Aerocontrol LTD – was also charged in the indictment.

On April 9, 2008, he pled guilty to conspiring to steal competitive information regarding the supply of fuel to DOD aircraft around the world. Aviation fuel is obtained by the DOD through the Defense Energy Support Center (“DESC”) which lets contracts for a variety of products. The fuel is delivered worldwide to locations, including Croatia, Bulgaria and Afghanistan. Mr. Bittendender was an employee of Avcard, a division of Kropp Holdings LLC.

Mr. Bittenbender was accused of selling trade secrets to Avcard’s competitors FERAS and Aerocontrol Ltd. As a result, FERAS and Aerocontrol underbid Avcard at every location where the companies were bidding together. Avcard lost every one of those bids. Christopher Cartwright and Paul Wilkinson, along with their respective companies, FERAS and Aerocontrol were indicted on related charges.


Andre Barlow

(202) 589-1834
abarlow@dbmlawgroup.com