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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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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

August 18, 2021

Defense contractor Iris Kim, Inc. (“I-Tek”), together with its owner and four employees, were sentenced on criminal charges arising out of a fraudulent scheme to falsely qualify for Department of Defense and other federal government supply contracts set aside for service-disabled veterans, import Chinese-manufactured goods in violation of the terms of these contracts, and falsely relabel these goods as if they were made in the U.S.  The U.S. spent over $7 million on fraudulently-imported goods sold by I-Tek.  Owner Beyung S. Kim was sentenced to 58 months in prison, and the four employees were sentenced to a combined 93 months in prison.  USAO ED VA

July 20, 2021

Sage Consulting Group, Inc., and its president and owner Robert Pleghardt, agreed to pay $4.8 million to resolve claims that they paid kickbacks to two business, Wete & Company, Inc. and Index Systems, Inc., which were SBA certified as small businesses owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, to permit Sage to represent that those companies would be performing at least 50% of the work as subcontractors on Sage’s contracts with the Department of Defense Education Activity and Defense Human Resources Activity when, in fact, Sage performed 100% of the work.  USAO EDVA

July 14, 2021

Diesel Direct, LLC of Stoughton, Massachusetts will pay $850,000 to resolve claims brought in a qui tam action alleging that the company knowingly delivered nonconforming petroleum diesel fuel to state agencies while charging for a higher-priced and more environmentally-friendly biodiesel fuel; improperly charged state agencies a federal fuel excise tax; and failed to comply with the state's Supplier Diversity Program requiring spending with women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. Mass
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