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Set-Asides and Preferences

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in government contracting set-aside and preference programs. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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September 22, 2022

The operations manager for Zieson Construction Company has been sentenced to 8 years in prison, ordered to forfeit over $4.6 million in profits, and ordered to pay restitution of over $600,000 to the IRS and over $82,000 to the Missouri Department of Revenue for his role in a massive fraud scheme.  Using an African American service-disabled veteran as the nominal owner of Zieson, Patrick Michael Dingle obtained approximately $335 million in federal construction contracts that were set aside for small businesses owned and operated by individuals fitting the nominal owner’s profile.  In violation of program rules, however, Zieson was actually controlled by Dingle and his co-conspirators.  Dingle also separately admitted to filing fraudulent business tax returns from 2013 to 2016.  USAO WDMO

August 2, 2022

VE Source LLC and its owners, Sherman Barton and Christopher Neary, as well as a related entity, Vertical Source LLC, have together agreed to pay nearly $8 million to resolve claims of violating the False Claims Act.  VE Source had fraudulently obtained more than $16.5 million in contracts with the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) that were set aside for businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans, which it was not.  USAO NJ

August 2, 2022

VE Source LLC, Sherman Barton, Christopher Neary, and Vertical Source, LLC will collectively pay $7.975 million for violating the False Claims Act by fraudulently procuring government contracts designated for companies owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans. None of the defendants are service-disabled vets, yet they accepted more than $16.5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense, undercutting the express Congressional purpose of the program. USAO NJ

June 2, 2022

Aerospace company Numet Machining Techniques, LLC and related entities have agreed to pay $5.2 million after voluntarily disclosing to the government that Numet, which had certified itself as a small business concern, had affiliations with other businesses that, the government alleged, made it ineligible for 22 small business set-aside contracts that it had been awarded during the relevant time period.  USAO CT

May 13, 2022

Hensel Phelps Construction Company has agreed to pay $2.8 million to resolve allegations of violating the False Claims Act in connection with a federal subcontract designated for service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB).  Under a 2011 contract with the General Services Administration to construct a building in Washington, D.C., Hensel Phelps was required to set aside subcontracts for SDVOSBs and other small businesses.  According to qui tam plaintiff Fox Unlimited Enterprises, LLP, the company instead made arrangements with another large business to provide equipment and installation services, and used a SDVOSB in name only.  USAO NDNY, USAO EDWA

TriMark Settlement Highlights Fraud in Set-Aside Programs

Posted  03/1/22
In a settlement that DOJ has touted as “the largest-ever False Claims Act recovery based on allegations of small business contracting fraud,” food services equipment supplier TriMark USA agreed to pay $48.5 million to resolve allegations that its subsidiaries used front companies owned by service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) to secure federal set-aside contracts.  While TriMark made it appear...

February 23, 2022

TriMark USA, LLC and related entities will pay $48.5 million to resolve claims brought in a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that they improperly manipulated federal contract set-asides for service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB) by enlisting small business to secure the contracts while TriMark actually performed all of the work and received most of the benefits of the federal contract.  In addition, former TriMark executive Kimberley Rimsza has agreed to pay $100,000 to resolve claims against her.  The whistleblower, Fox Unlimited Enterprises, LLP, will receive an award of $10.9 millionUSAO ND NY; USAO ED WA

January 12, 2022

Idaho-based Native American Services Corp. (NASCO) and Texas-based Mirador Enterprises, Inc. (Mirador) have agreed to pay $750,000 and $400,000 respectively, for a combined settlement of $1.15 million, to resolve allegations of fraudulently obtaining two construction contracts at Colorado’s Fort Carson Army installation.  According to the DOJ, one contract was set aside for eligible economically and socially disadvantaged small businesses, and the other was set aside for eligible small businesses.  Although Mirador was eligible for both contracts, it allowed its mentor NASCO to take on the primary role in the performance of the contracts; both companies then took steps to conceal the fraud.  USAO CO

Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act Recoveries of 2021

Posted  01/7/22
Abe Lincoln
Our roundup of 2021’s Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries illustrates the statute’s continuing capacity to fight both conventional and emergent frauds straddling a variety of industries. In 2021 alone, the United States recovered hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds obtained through false claims tainted by textbook contracting fraud schemes (overbilling on government contracts, selling the...

January 5, 2022

A Kansas-based contractor who illegally obtained $346 million in contracts set aside for service-disabled veterans and certified minorities has been sentenced to a little over two years in prison and ordered to forfeit over $5.5 million.  Between 2009 and 2018, defendant Matthew McPherson was awarded approximately 199 federal contracts, upon which he was paid approximately $335 million, through Zieson Construction Company, which was nominally owned by an African-American service-disabled veteran.  When the company grew too large to compete for small business contracts, McPherson used an employee’s Native American minority status to set up Simcon Corp in order to obtain additional contracts.  USAO WDMO
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