Employee sentenced for falsifying missile part records

Sunday, June 17, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The sales manager of a now-defunct Florida company has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for falsifying test records for metal that was to be made into nuclear missile components.

Russell B. Cohen, 48, of Lighthouse Point, Fla., apologized to Chief U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan before hearing his sentence Friday in Kansas City.

"I am truly sorry," Cohen said. "I've never been involved with anything like this in my life."

Cohen admitted in November that he was part of a scheme to forge test documents on 48 metal bars sold to Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies in Kansas City.

Cohen's former employer, M&M International Aerospace Metals, had been required to perform quality testing.

The co-owners of the company, Timothy and Tina Muldoon, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in Florida. They received sentences of 27 and 24 months, respectively.

M&M International Aerospace Metals won a contract in 2003 to supply the metal bars to Honeywell, which manages a plant in Kansas City for the U.S. Department of Energy. It makes non-nuclear components for nuclear weapons.

The components were to be used for a part that prevents inadvertent nuclear detonations in the Peacekeeper Nuclear Missile.

Honeywell employees became suspicious when they noticed that test documents for the 48 metal bars appeared to be identical.

Agents from the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense raided the company's headquarters in February 2004.

Prosecutors said the forged documentation cost the government $56,386, including labor by Honeywell, retesting, and the cost of unusable material.

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