Satellite Contractors Charged in Kickbacks Case


Six men were arrested this week for allegedly paying kickbacks to an official at a Boeing Co. subsidiary in El Segundo that supplies satellites and related parts to NASA and other federal government entities, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

Federal authorities say Pico Rivera resident Alfred Henderson, 60, vice president of A&A Fabrication and Polishing Inc. in Whittier, is at the center of the case. A&A is also being charged.

According to the Justice Department, the company and Henderson paid kickbacks to Fresno resident Mark Allen, 60, who was a procurement officer at Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems in El Segundo. Allen is also accused of giving Henderson confidential information that gave A&A, a Boeing subcontractor, an advantage when it came to bidding for Boeing projects.

Reached by telephone Thursday, Henderson would not confirm the charges or the reported $25,000 bond he paid on Monday after his arrest.

“I would appreciate you not publicizing this because I still do government work,” Henderson said.

Henderson is scheduled to stand trial on May 26 while representatives from his company are expected to make a federal court appearance on April 13.

Others arrested this week and charged in the case are Raymond Joseph, 66, of Los Angeles; Cesar Soto, 47, of Chino; Randy Mitchell, 62, of Whittier; Noberto Martinez, 53, of Alhambra. Soto did not immediately return a call for comment. Martinez refused to comment, referring all calls to his attorney. The Business Journal was not able to reach Mitchell, Allen or Joseph.

Federal investigators say the men worked together to improperly steer business to A&A by, among other things, using a “front” company in Anaheim.

“Pay-to-play schemes undermine the integrity of the competitive bidding process and, in this case, compromised the quality of products used to manufacture satellites for scientific exploration and national defense,” Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura said in a statement.

Cases related to the charges were announced on Thursday when prosecutors learned a federal judge had unsealed documents related to Allen, Joseph, Soto and Mitchell, who had previously pleaded guilty in closed proceedings, according to federal authorities.

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