Two Butler County brothers charged with orchestrating a multi-million-dollar scheme to defraud the U.S. Army are set to be sentenced today in federal court in Pittsburgh.
Thomas and John Buckner pleaded guilty in June to charges of fraud and tax evasion in connection with a scheme at their former company, Ibis Tek. The Butler Township-based company had a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to produce vehicle emergency escape window kits for Humvees for the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).
But in June the brothers, who were co-owners of the business, admitted that they inflated costs and created a shell company to drive up the price of the Chinese-made components used in the kits. They also admitted that they sold scrap aluminum collected during the manufacturing process and did not credit the money to the government's contract. Prosecutors say the fraud cost the DOD more than $6 million, according to online court documents.
The case includes several other defendants, including Ibis Tek's former CFO, Harry Kramer. U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab is set to sentence the men in federal court today, during a hearing in which prosecutors have said they do not intend to call any witnesses, and the brothers are allowed to call four “brief character witnesses,” according to online court documents.
The brothers face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1.5 million.