CAMDEN, N.J. – The president of a company providing goods to government agencies today admitted to attempting to defraud businesses in connection with government contracting, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Keith Fisher Sr., 62, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Burlington, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of mail fraud. Fisher also pleaded guilty to violating the conditions of his supervised release from a prior conviction.
According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:
On July 18, 2017, Fisher was sentenced by Judge Bumb to 60 months in prison for conspiring to commit mail fraud using various companies he owned and controlled. In that case, Fisher and his companies won bids for U.S. government contracts; subcontracted with victim-businesses to provide goods to the government pursuant to the contracts; collected payments from the government for fulfilling the contracts; and then failed to pay the subcontractor victim-businesses that actually provided the goods.
The fraud scheme charged today involved another company, Atlantic Safety Corp., controlled by Fisher, and began when Fisher was nearing the end of his previous prison sentence. Fisher used Atlantic Safety to bid on federal contracts through Unison Marketplace, a reverse auction online marketplace that enabled government agencies to post requirements for goods. Upon submitting a winning bid, Atlantic Safety was awarded a contract to provide goods to a government agency.
Fisher orchestrated his fraud by using an alias to subcontract with a third-party vendor to provide goods directly to the government agency. Fisher induced the third-party vendor to ship the goods to the government agency on credit by falsely promising to pay the vendor for the goods. Fisher also made fraudulent representations to other potential subcontractor vendors about the creditworthiness and financial status of Atlantic Safety.
The mail fraud count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 13, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Wiest; special agents with the General Services Administration Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations Mid-Atlantic Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Eric D. Radwick; and special agents with the U.S. Department of State Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Speckhardt, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Bender of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.