A federal judge made it official Wednesday when he accepted National Air Cargo's guilty plea to a single felony and accepted $28 million in fines, restitution and payment to a whistleblower who first went to the government.
Federal prosecutors did not charge Christopher J. Alf, the high-flying founder and sole owner of the Orchard Park freight forwarder, or any of his executives. But the government accused the company of changing delivery dates and delivering by truck when air travel was required.
Now, however, National Air Cargo comes under scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Defense. The sentencing sets in motion a Defense investigation into whether National Air Cargo can continue shipping war materiel to Iraq and Afghanistan and do other work for the government.
Has National Air Cargo learned its lesson? Or should it be debarred from doing any work for the government?
-- Michael Beebe and Dan Herbeck