The aerospace-and-defense giant Northrop Grumman says it is out $11 million, thanks to an allegedly fraudulent billing scheme carried out for a decade by a Maryland company, JADM Inc., run by Columbia resident Rolf Ramelmeier. Not only did Northrop Grumman sue JADM and Ramelmeier on Dec. 5 to recover the money, but the U.S. government has taken legal action over the alleged scheme, too, which involved routinely over-billing for natural gas delivered to Northrop Grumman's facility in Lintihicum.
On Dec. 8, the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office filed suit to take ownership of three properties and one deed of trust tied to Ramelmeier, while the FBI on Dec. 3 obtained a warrant to search JADM's Sykesville office and seize millions from bank accounts controlled by Ramelmeier and the company. The court documents state that Ramelmeier's partner in the alleged scheme was Richard Shoe in North Carolina, who was held out in gas-delivery agreements as a Northrop Grumman representative even though he didn't work at the company.
Looks like Ramelmeier's world is crashing down, and his ability to mount a robust legal defense is being undermined by the FBI's bank-account seizures. Probably best not to try cheat the world's fourth-largest defense contractor out of even a tiny fraction of its $25 billion in annual revenues.