HomeCrimeDefense contractor charged with COVID-19 fraud

Defense contractor charged with COVID-19 fraud

A defense contractor in Hawaii is under arrest and accused of fraud for obtaining $12.8 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

The Star Advertiser reports Martin Kao, chief executive officer of Martin Defense Group, formally Navatek LLC, faces two counts of bank fraud and one count of money laundering.

The criminal complaint alleges he inflated the number of employees he had and deposited $2 million in relief funds into his personal account, reports the Bangor Daily News. The company is based in Honolulu but also employs 40 employees in Maine.

According to Honolululu Civil Beat, Kao is one of Hawaii’s biggest political donors. He flaunted his political ties in discussions for a loan with a bank in Hawaii.

“I just got off a couple calls with [a U.S. Senator and Member of Congress],” Kao wrote to a bank in an email obtained by the Daily News. “The [sic] specifically asked about the status of our PPP loan application and were very adamant about stepping in, if our application was getting stalled.”

The Paycheck Protection Program provided more than 660 million in forgivable loans to small businesses.

“Navatek is a highly reputable company with a long record of service to its clients and the people of Hawai‘i. The government’s actions today were a complete surprise. As a company, we will address the allegations and have retained legal counsel to review these claims,” it said.

 AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Worth the Time

Must Read

Regular Features


Discover more from AsAmNews

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading