Top executive sentenced in ‘Made in USA’ boots scheme

By The Associated Press

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — The top executive of a one-time leading manufacturer of boots for the U.S. military has been sentenced in a “Made in USA” scheme.

A statement from U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey says 66-year-old Vincent Lee Ferguson of Knoxville was sentenced Monday to 41 months in federal prison for his role in a wire fraud conspiracy.

The statement says Overbey was president and CEO of Wellco Enterprises Inc., which sold boots to the military that were falsely advertised as being made in the U.S.

Prosecutors say Ferguson conspired with his executive team to import boots made in China. Authorities say they concealed the fraud at first by requiring the Chinese manufacturing facility to include “USA” labels and later by having factory workers tear out “Made in China” labels.

Five others charged in the scheme were sentenced in June.

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