The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 16, 2013

Brothers plead guilty to fraud

Founders of defense firm face lengthy federal prison terms

JOHNSTOWN — Two brothers who owned a defense contracting business in Windber pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to defrauding the government.

William Kuchera, 58, of Summerhill, and Ronald Kuchera, 51, of Johnstown, appeared before U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson. Both men waived their rights to be indicted and to have a jury trial.

They both pleaded guilty to major fraud against the government and conspiracy. They face up to 15 years in prison and millions in fines and civil penalties.

Government investigators outlined their case against the brothers who operated Kuchera Defense Systems Inc.  

The pair claimed lobbying costs, hunting trips and a private airplane as business expenses. Some of those expenses were invested in a game ranch.

The Kucheras also submitted a false invoice for $650,000 to Coherent Systems International Inc., which was a defense contractor owned by Richard S. Ianieri.

As a prime contractor, Coherent was responsible for an $8 million defense contract for the Ground Mobile Gateway Systems. The invoice sought payment for a component that was never delivered.

After receiving the $650,000 from Coherent, the brothers kicked back to Ianieri about $200,000.

In July 2009, Ianeri pleaded guilty to soliciting kickbacks and was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $200,000.

Each brother has agreed to pay a $50,000 fine.

Richard Kuchera agreed to the civil forfeiture of an additional $450,000 and agreed to make payments to the IRS of $121,313.

William Kuchera also agreed to the civil forfeiture of $450,000 and pay restitution to the IRS of $257,168.

The Kucheras and KDS will also pay $2.7 million to resolve   their civil liabilities with the Defense Department.

“The Kucheras cheated the government by claiming improper reimbursement, submitting a false invoice, and then kicking back $200,000 to the prime contracter,” U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said in a statement.

“Such blatant and outrageous fraud against the United States cannot and will not be tolerated,” he said.

The Kucheras will be sentenced Oct. 7. They are free on unsecured bond.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • District Deaths July 31, 2014

    July 30, 2014

  • Smaller payout to seniors urged

    State Lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 29, 2014

  • Portage ambulance aid will add portable CPR device, other tools

    Federal funding awarded to Portage Area Ambulance Association will soon put “a third man” alongside their two-person crews when emergencies occur, ambulance operations manager Edward Nelson said.

    July 29, 2014

  • paint_twp building Paint Township considers offering part of building for rent

    Four years after Paint Township built an addition at the Basin Drive building to house its growing police department, much of the new space likely will be offered for rent this fall because the township supervisors say it's no longer needed.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old Rockwood hotel will soon be history

    The historic – but dilapidated – Merchants Hotel in Rockwood is expected to be razed soon.
    On Tuesday, Somerset County’s three commissioners unanimously agreed to a demolition plan for the building, which was constructed in the 1880s. The arrangement calls for a private citizen, William Nair, to tear down the structure at 703 Main St. in exchange for being allowed to keep any salvageable materials.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 30, 2014

  • ATV blast ready to roll at Rock Run

    Organizers are keeping the spirit of the Fisher’s ATV Reunion at Rock Run Recreation Area alive despite losing the support of the award-winning Outdoor Channel TV show “Fisher’s ATV World.” Now called the Rock Run ATV Summer Blast, the event will continue to offer demonstration rides, motor competitions, product vendors, live music, camping and trail riding.

    July 29, 2014

  • Culvert 1 Preservationists use age-old method at historic site

    Preservation work on two historic culverts associated with the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site has been completed. The culverts were reconstructed using a variety of techniques, including dry stone masonry, which was used to build the culverts more than 180 years ago.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 7/30/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • Officer, civilian motorist injured in crash

    A Johnstown police officer who was responding to an emergency and one other driver were taken to the hospital after they were injured in a three-vehicle accident around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday on Railroad Street at the intersection with Clinton Street and Church Avenue.
    The Johnstown Fire Department said that the three occupants of the third vehicle were not injured.
     

    July 29, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads