A North Carolina-based defense contractor has been sentenced to five years in prison for defrauding the government of more than $15 million through two separate conspiracies.

Philip Mearing, 48, is the former president of Global Services Corporation. In that role, he and his associates, Kenneth Bricker and Ken Deines, made fraudulent payments from Mearing’s company to dummy corporations Deines had set up, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The Virginian-Pilot reported in March that the 46-year-old Deines, a former Global Services executive, was sentenced in November 2016 to 18 months in prison.

Meanwhile, Bricker, a 59-year-old accountant in Hampton Roads, Virginia, was sentenced in March to four years in prison, according to the Pilot.

Global Services provides “core capabilities to include design and engineering, training, technology, logistics, administrative, and shipboard alteration services to military customers,” according to their website. “Our goal is to provide the best solution possible while maintaining firm budgetary control.”

However, the court determined that between 2004 and 2014, hundreds of invoices for work and services on behalf of Global Services were filed but never actually performed by the dummy corporations it contracted.

Mearing, Deines and Bricker would normally keep 5 percent of the fraudulent payments made by Global Services to the fraudulent companies. The other 95 percent of the payments would be sent to Mearing and his Ohio-based LLC known as DeShas, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to court documents, Bricker received roughly $13.6 million in these fraudulent payments over the course of the decade. He retained about $558,000 for himself and issued checks totaling $13 million to the LLC and Mearing.

In an entirely separate conspiracy, the former comptroller for Norfolk Ship Support Activity assisted Mearing and Deines in submitting false claims to the government “via false and/or fictitious invoices,” the Attorney’s Office said.

The Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said these fraudulent claims resulted in the loss of another $1.8 million, with the combined total from the two conspiracies amounting to $15.4 million.

Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.

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