PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Vancouver man is accused of scheming and defrauding law enforcement agencies and the U.S. government out of millions of dollars by selling them falsely advertised helmets and body armor, according to federal charging documents filed Tuesday, Nov. 22.
Jeff Meining owns Bulletproof It, LLC in Vancouver, and is facing one count of wire fraud.
According to the charging document, Meining used his company to advertise and sell body armor, primarily to various governmental agencies, including federal, state, and local law enforcement and fire departments. He’s also accused of selling the body armor by supplying it to another company that sold products under programs run by the General Services Administration.
Meining advertised on his website that his body armor products were made in the United States of America, but the charging documents said that isn’t true. They said many of the products came from Chinese companies.
Additionally, Meining altered test reports that showed his products had failed to meet ballistic testing standards, the documents said.
As an example, the documents said that on Aug. 14, 2019, Meining’s company signed a contract with the Mesa Police Department in Arizona. The police department purchased 840 helmets for approximately $247,800.
Meining and his company told the police department that the helmets “meet NIJ Level IIIA or better,” the charging documents said. This means the products had been tested to stop .357 SIG and .44 Magnum ammunition fired from longer-barrel handguns.
However, the documents said Meining knew at the time the contract was signed that the helmets had not been tested to meet those standards. Meining reportedly sent falsified test results for the helmets to the police department where he removed a test result that showed the helmet had failed when tested against a .44 Magnum, the documents said.
The helmets were later tested in December 2021 and a ballistic laboratory report showed they failed testing for .44 Magnum and .357 SIG.
According to the charging documents, on June 28, 2021, Customs and Border Protection in Portland detained a shipment from China that was addressed to Meining and that contained helmets and body armor.
The documents said Meining produced other false ballistics test results for other products he sold.
In one instance, the documents accuse Meining of signing a contract with the U.S. Airforce to provide them with helmets that he claimed met NIJ IIIA and could stop a .44 Magnum. However, the documents said this was once again not true.
Meining had become a supplier of goods under U.S. Tactical Supply’s GSA contract in 2016, the documents said. The contract requires all suppliers’ goods to be made in compliance with the Trade Agreement Act, which means the government can only purchase products that are produced or manufactured in the U.S. or a “designated country.”
China is not on the list of designated countries.
Throughout his scheme, Meining is accused of making sales worth at least $2.7 million. Of that, the charging documents said more than $1.4 million was from products that Meining falsely claimed met specific testing standards or that he falsely claimed were made in the U.S.
KOIN 6 News contacted Meining’s attorney for comment but has not received a response.
Meining is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 7.