TRENTON, N.J. — The former owner of two New Jersey defense contracting businesses was charged with mail fraud and violating the Arms Export Control Act Sept. 15 for allegedly creating U.S. shell companies to fraudulently obtain contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and also for downloading export-restricted military technical documents overseas. The arrest follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service Northeast Field Office.
Alper Calik, 38, of Ankara, Turkey, was arrested upon his entry into the United States Sept. 13 and charged with two counts of mail fraud for submitting fraudulent contracts to the DoD claiming to produce items in the United States that were actually manufactured in Turkey. Calik also faces one count of violating the Arms Export Control Act for downloading thousands of military technical drawings while outside the United States without prior approval from the U.S. Department of State.
According to court documents, in November 2009 Calik was the co-owner of Clifmax LLC in Clifton, New Jersey. The company contracted with the DoD to supply defense hardware items and spare parts. In May 2011, Calik started a second company, Tunamann LLC, based at the same address. Both Clifmax and Tunamann were allegedly shell companies created as a U.S. front for manufacturing facilities actually located in Turkey. Calik on numerous occasions falsely claimed to the DoD that Clifmax and Tunamann were U.S.-based companies when neither company ever had manufacturing capabilities in the United States.
In February 2010, Calik submitted a fraudulent bid to the DoD for a contract to provide more than 120 parts used for steering and braking components on U.S. Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles. Only U.S.-based contractors were eligible to obtain that contract and Clifmax was awarded the contract valued at more than $50,000. Shipping records show the parts were subsequently shipped from Turkey to Clifmax's address in New Jersey and then provided to the DoD in July 2014.
If convicted, Calik faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 for mail fraud. The arms export violation carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The office of Newark U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman is prosecuting the case for the government.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.