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Government Loan Programs

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in government loan programs. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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January 29, 2019

E.M. Photonics, Inc. (“EMP”) and its Chief Executive Officer, Eric Kelmelis, will pay $2.75 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by seeking disbursements from federal agencies for falsified labor costs and duplicative work in order to maximize charges to contracts awarded by federal agencies. From January 2009 to April 2014, EMP received funds under seven different contracts and grants awarded through the federal Small Business Innovation (“SBIR”) and Small Business Technology Transfer (“STTR”) programs. EMP and Kelmelis directed EMP employees, or caused others to direct EMP employees, to complete false timesheets and submit false invoices and public vouchers for direct labor that did not occur. EMP and Kelmelis also sought and received SBIR/STTR funding for work already performed and funded by another government agency and falsely certified that such work was, in fact, non-duplicative. The government alleged that both of these schemes were designed to maximize charges to each contract or grant. DOJ

January 28, 2019

A producer of fish oil and fishmeal products, Omega Protein Corp., has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve allegations that when the company applied for a $10 million federal loan, it falsely certified that it was complying with federal environmental laws when, in fact, it was knowingly violating the Clean Water Act by discharging oil into U.S. waters. In 2013, the company pleaded guilty to criminal violations of the CWA.   The civil settlement arises from a False Claim Act case filed by a former employee of Omega, Keland O. Harrison, who will receive $200,000 of the settlement proceeds.  DOJ

September 24, 2018

Azam Doost, the former owner of Equity Capital Mining LLC, which operated a marble mine in Afghanistan, was convicted for defrauding the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a U.S. government agency in a $15.8 million loan the company obtained from OPIC. Doost had represented that he had no affiliation with mine suppliers who were paid from the loan proceeds; in fact, he had financial relationships with several of the suppliers, and diverted OPIC funds paid to those suppliers for his own use.  DOJ  For information on later sentencing, see here.

September 17, 2018

A father and son duo have been sentenced to decades in prison and are to pay over $1 million in restitution for defrauding small businesses, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Small Business Administration (SBA). After being hired to help small businesses win contracts with the USDA, father Joseph Glenn Osborne, Sr. allegedly stole over half a million dollars paid to his clients and used the money to buy himself a mansion. Father and son then conspired with others to fraudulently win contracts with the same agency for son Joseph Glenn Osborne, II's business, and were awarded five contracts worth over $4 million. After the contracts were terminated for default—and company funds were used to fund renovations for the aforementioned mansion and extravagant nights out—they attempted to fraudulently win contracts with the SBA. USAO SDCA

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