Company Fined $80,000 for Selling Bootleg Medals of Honor
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ After a government contractor was fined $80,000 for selling bootleg copies of the Medal of Honor, recipient Paul W. Bucha said the crime is much more serious than the typical misdemeanor.
``It’s a theft of our respect. It’s a rape of our ideals,″ said Bucha, a retired Army captain who said he wears his medal in memory of 11 men under his command who died the night he earned it in Vietnam. ``The medal reflects the potential that each of us possesses to do the extraordinary.″
Bucha watched in court Tuesday as H.L.I. Lordship Industries Inc. pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count. Lordship will also give the government the $22,500 it received for illegally selling 300 of the medals for $75 apiece from 1991-94.
U.S. District Judge William G. Bassler imposed the maximum fine allowed.
Lordship said two of the majority stockholder’s sons were responsible.
The brothers will face no charges as part of the company’s plea bargain.
Attorney Frederick P. Hafetz said the Hauppauge, N.Y.-based company would like to continue as a government contractor to save 120 jobs. He said the two brothers, Ward and Wes McAllister, have been fired.
The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency will decide whether Lordship can continue as a government contractor. A message left Tuesday with the agency was not returned.