Navy official charged shady $1.6 million weapons deal

A Navy intelligence official has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his role in duping the Navy into buying $1.6 million worth of silencers as part of a long-running federal investigation into the matter.

David Landersman, formerly a civilian director within a Navy covert operations group, was the third person to be charged for conspiracy and theft of government money. The other two — Mark Landersman and Lee Hall — were convicted of similar charges last year.

According to the criminal complaint, Landersman used his position to allocate government funds ($1.9 million) and approve a contract to buy silencers. He aided a hotrod company, which was not licensed to make or sell firearms, owned by his brother, Mark Landersman, to win a $1,657,750 contract for 349 silencers — or the inflated price of $4,750 per silencer.

Landersman worked as a Senior Director of Intelligence for the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy Plans, Policy, Oversight and Integration Intelligence Directorate.

The complaint says the conspiracy developed starting in June 2012 when the brothers discussed manufacturing silencers and realized that the devices were simple to machine.

By the end of October 2012, they had refined details of the contract and contacted Hall, who worked as a civilian employee with the Navy, to facilitate a no-bid contract between the Navy and Mark Landersman.

By April 2013, Mark Landersman had provided all 349 silencers and received $1.6 million.

Hall and Mark Landersman were found guilty of producing the suppressors without a license and shipping them across state lines in violation of the National Firearms Act in November 2014.