Short Take: Don’t Claim Status You Don’t Have – It Can Land You in Jail
September 30, 2014
By: Lindsay Simmons
A federal grand jury in Greeneville, Tennessee recently returned an indictment against four individuals for fraud against the United States. If convicted, they each face potential terms of over 50 years. The indictment also seeks forfeitures (that is, the return) of between $5 and $15 million in funds fraudulently obtained by three of the individuals.
Details of the alleged crimes are set out in the indictment on file with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Among other things, the indictment alleges that from 2005 to 2013 these individuals conspired to defraud the United States government through a scheme to fraudulently obtain federal contracts intended for businesses lawfully participating in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development program and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program.
This indictment is the most recent in a series of similar cases that remind us that the federal government can and will investigate and prosecute those who abuse or defraud procurement programs by claiming to have small, 8(a) and/or SDVOSB status they do not actually possess.
DOJ News Release Sept. 9, 2014.
Lindsay Simmons is responsible for the contents of this article.
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