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Jan. 29, 2023

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Vancouver body armor company owner faces federal charges in safety records case

By , Columbian staff reporter
Published:

The owner of a Vancouver-based body armor company is facing a federal wire fraud allegation after investigators say he forged safety test records and falsely claimed his products were made in the United States.

Jeffrey Meining, 40, of Vancouver is scheduled to appear on the allegation Dec. 7 in U.S. District Court in Portland, court records show.

The attorney listed in court records for Meining did not return a request for comment.

According to charging information filed last week, Meining is the owner of Bulletproof-It, LLC, which sells body armor to federal, state and local law enforcement and fire departments, along with the U.S. military.

The information alleges Meining advertised his products as “Made in the USA,” when he actually received imports totaling more than $1 million from Chinese companies.

Investigators also say Meining claimed his products met certain safety standards but did not test them to meet the advertised levels, or he altered reports to reflect inaccurate results, court records show.

The information noted an order Meining fulfilled in 2019 for 840 helmets to the Mesa Police Department in Arizona. It states Meining agreed to provide the helmets that met safety standards, including ballistic protections for certain firearm rounds. It also states Meining knew the helmets had not been tested to those standards, and in December 2021, wired a falsified test result for the helmets to the police department. Meining removed a test result from the documentation that would have showed the helmets failed when tested against a .44 Magnum.

Later testing that month showed the helmets sold to the Arizona police department failed testing for a .44 Magnum and a .357 SIG, court records state.

On June 28, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Portland detained a shipment from China to Meining containing helmets and ceramic plates for body armor. On July 9, 2021, Meining used a customs broker to submit an altered test result in order to get the items released to be able to sell them, the information states.

In September 2021, Meining signed a contract with the U.S. Air Force to provide helmets and equipment, totaling about $32,600, that were made in the U.S. He also agreed in the contract to provide helmets that were certified against .44 Magnum rounds, court records state.

Investigators say Meining knew when he signed the contract the helmets were not made in the U.S. and were not tested to stop .44 Magnum rounds.

Court records state Meining made at least $1,478,579 in sales of products that he falsely claimed were made in the U.S. or met certain testing standards.

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