The SBA’s joint venture rules can be strict. Mistakes like failing to update a joint venture agreement, inserting ambiguous provisions in a joint venture agreement, or relying on an expired mentor-protege agreement can be costly.
Good faith mistakes are one thing–the joint venture may lose out on a contract, but probably won’t face other penalties. But when the government believes that a contractor knowingly violated the joint venture rules, the repercussions can be much more serious–as seen in a recent False Claims Act settlement involving allegations of fraud under the 8(a) joint venture regulations.
Fraud is an ever pressing concern in federal contracts, and the federal government goes to great lengths to minimize the risks to introduce fraud into the procurement system.
Unfortunately, a recent GAO report highlighted how complex ownership structures can be leveraged to obscure fraudulent contracting activities. Worse still, complex ownership structures are most frequently leveraged to perpetrate small business set-aside fraud.
A North Carolina couple is heading to prison after being convicted of defrauding the SDVOSB and 8(a) Programs.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Ricky Lanier was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison and his wife, Katrina Lanier, was sentenced to 30 months for their roles in a long-running scheme to defraud two of the government’s cornerstone socioeconomic contracting programs.
The owner of a former 8(a) program participant has been sentenced to 21 months in prison in connection with an 8(a) program “pass-through” scheme.
Under the plea agreement, the former 8(a) program owner also agreed to three years of supervised release and the forfeiture of $554,541.07.
A former 8(a) program participant has agreed to pay nearly $8 million to settle allegations of 8(a) program fraud.
According to a Department of Justice press release, LB&B Associates Inc. will pay $7.8 million to resolve claims that it improperly obtained 8(a) certification (and 8(a) contracts) even though it was not controlled by a disadvantaged individual.
A California man faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to 8(a) fraud charges.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Wesley Burnett admitted that his non-8(a) companies performed all of the work required under various 8(a) set-aside contracts. And if the pass-through scheme wasn’t enough, Burnett also admitted to falsely self-certifying his companies as SDVOSBs and SDBs, resulting in additional unjustified contract awards.
A federal judge has sentenced a Maryland man to 42 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining contracts under the 8(a) Program.
According to a Department of Justice press release, after Vernon J. Smith III serves his prison sentence, he will be subject to three years of supervised release. And on top of the prison sentence, the federal judge ordered Smith to pay more than $7 million in restitution and forfeiture.