LOS ANGELES -- Three former managers of an aerospace firm were sentenced to prison Monday for their roles in a scheme that supplied faulty guidance components used in Navy missiles and other military equipment.
Werner Brinkschulte, 50, of Simi Valley, former general manager of Genisco Technology Corp.'s Transducer Products Division in Simi Valley, was sentenced to 4 years in prison and fined $40,000 by U.S. District Judge A. Andrew Hauk.
Daniel Evans, 34, of Simi Valley, production manager at the facility, was given 2 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, and Robert Kersnick, 51, of Sepulveda, the quality assurance officer, received 366 days in prison and $2,000 in fines.
Prosecutors had requested much stiffer penalities for Brinkschulte and Evans, arguing that the two men 'have made (Americans) have to worry about whether our military systems work or they don't.'
Brinkschulte pleaded guilty in July to four counts of a 15-count indictment charging that Genisco and several managers conspired to ship components without required testing and to cover up the lack of testing of parts that often turned out to be faulty.
Evans had pleaded guilty to four counts and Kersnick to two counts of the indictment last year.
Prosecutors said Brinkschulte 'ordered the frauds' and ran the Simi Valley facility with 'an iron hand.'
'He knew he was sending (the government) junk and that it didn't work,' Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Hennigan said.
Hennigan and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Katz asked for 15 years for Brinkschulte and six years for Evans. They made no recommendation on a sentence for Kersnick, called the least-culpable of the three. Hauk recommended he be paroled after four months because his lawyer said the company wanted to hire him back.
Genisco, an aerospace company based in La Mirada, pleaded guilty in October to falsely certifying test results for its pressure transducers, critical components in military guidance systems. At its sentencing in November, Genisco was ordered to pay $725,000 in fines and restitution.
The company's guilty plea covered parts supplied to the Navy for a torpedo simulator and a mobile underwater target device.
The original indictment said falsely certified transducers also were supplied for the Navy's High Speed Anti-Radar (HARM) air-to-ground missile and for an oil-pressure gauge on the Coast Guard's Dolphin search-and-rescue helicopter.
Naval reports included in a government sentencing report for the three men said the failure of a transducer in the HARM missile 'could definitely cause the missile to miss its target.'
After the faulty parts were discovered, all missiles equipped with Genisco transducers were tested. A total of 180 Navy missiles failed performance tests, and the missile's prime contractor, Texas Instruments, spent $1 million replacing the faulty transducers.