Two brothers fraudulently misrepresented themselves to be service-disabled veterans and received $13 million in VA SDVOSB set-aside awards, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
The brothers, Raymond Testa and Gerald Testa, both of New York, were recently arrested and charged with major wire fraud. If convicted, they face penalties of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.
According to the DOJ, in or around 2008, the brothers started a company and represented it as a SDVOSB. The company was ultimately awarded $13 million in VA SDVOSB set-asides.
However, the press release indicates, neither brother was a service-disabled veteran. ”The defendants stand accused of pretending to be disabled service veterans,” said the U.S. Attorney prosecuting them.
Like anyone else accused of a crime, the Testa brothers are presumed innocent and entitled to their day in court. But if they are found guilty, let’s hope that the judge throws the book at them. After all, this isn’t a “gray area” case involving one of the finer points of SDVOSB eligibility. If the allegations are true, the brothers knew full well that they weren’t eligible–and deprived legitimate veterans of millions in contracting revenue.