NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake man pleaded guilty recently in federal court in Norfolk to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. Navy.
Federal agents say he created a sham company to get government contracts.
According to court paperwork, Michael Kitrel ran L&K Technology and Logistics out of his Chesapeake home. The company was set up to serve as a civilian contractor for the Navy, but it was all a front.
The federal government says the issues began back in 2014. Kitrel was approached by Navy Lt. Randolph Prince. Prince worked as a supply officer for Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit 2 in Virginia Beach.
Prince knew Kitrel from playing area poker games. Prosecutors say Prince needed money to fund his poker addiction so he devised a plan. He told Kitrel to create the bogus business.
Prince had the ability to steer contracts to whichever business he chose, according to documents. On four occasions, he created fraudulent purchases for items such as training aids for EOD.
Kitrel never provided any products for the Navy.
Once the Navy released the money, it would be split between Prince and Kitrel. Prosecutors say they stole $190,386 through the contracts.
Kitrel just pleaded guilty to the crime and will be sentenced in April.
Prince began serving a four-year prison sentence last year.