SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 29-March 4, 2016

Now that the calendar says March, I’m getting ready for March Madness.  The basketball excitement is building here in Lawrence, home of the #1 ranked Jayhawks.  Tomorrow, I’ll be at Allen Fieldhouse for the last home game of the season, and a farewell to senior standout Perry Ellis.

But don’t worry, I won’t let my excitement over March Madness deter me from bringing you our SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week’s collection of government contracts stories brings great news for WOSBs and EDWOSBs, an update on the abrupt cancellation of a major DHS contract, an effort to permit SDVOSBs to obtain disadvantaged status with the Department of Transportation, and much more.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 8-12, 2016

Love is in the air this weekend as Valentine’s Day approaches.  And even if that special someone isn’t the chocolate-and-flowers type, nothing says true love like giving the gift of the latest government contracting news and notes.  And best of all, it’s free!

In this week’s edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, the government appears to have hit its 23% small business goal for the third year running, a contractor will fork over $1 million to settle DOT DBE fraud claims, new data suggests that agencies are cutting back on lowest-price, technically acceptable contracts, and much more.

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DBE Fraud: $5 Million Settlement In Pass-Through Case

A large business has agreed to pay nearly $5 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it participated in a “pass-through” scheme designed to take advantage of the Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Entity program.

According to a Department of Justice press release, HD Supply Waterworks conspired with subcontractors to list a now-defunct Native American-owned company as a subcontractor, when in fact the subcontractor’s work was passed through to Waterworks.

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DOT DBE Fraud: Construction Company Admits False Statements In “Pass-Through” Case

A Connecticut construction company has agreed to pay more than $2.4 million to resolve fraud claims related to an alleged DOT DBE “pass through” scheme.

According to a DOJ press release, as part of the resolution, the construction company has admitted that it made false statements to the government that a DBE performed more than $3 million in subcontracted work, when in fact, that work was performed by a non-DBE.

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DOT DBE Fraud: Government Announces Two Large Settlements

If you are planning to defraud the U.S. Government (and I certainly hope that you are not), your best bet is to avoid the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Entity program.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced that a DOT DBE subcontractor had agreed to settle “pass-through” fraud claims for $936,000.  The DOJ’s announcement comes on the heels of a June 6 press release touting a settlement of nearly $3 million, also stemming from alleged DOT DBE fraud.

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8(a) Program Fraud: Contractor Indicted; Government Seeks $9 Million

An Idaho contractor has been indicted on federal charges stemming from allegations that she fraudulently lowered her personal net worth in order to enable her company to be certified in the SBA 8(a) Program and the Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.

According to a Department of Justice press release, the 8(a) and DBE fraud netted the contractor upwards of $9 million–and the Government wants its money back.

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Convictions in Massive DOT DBE Fraud Case Put Spotlight on Illegal Small Business “Pass-Throughs”


That was the verdict Pennsylvania jurors handed down on 26 of 30 charges against Joseph W. Nagle, stemming from what an FBI press release called a 15-year scheme to commit fraud within the DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.  Nagle, the former president, CEO and part-owner of Schuylkill Products Inc. was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the DOT, 11 counts of wire fraud, six counts of mail fraud, and 11 counts of money laundering, among other charges.  Nagle faces the possibility of many years in federal prison and millions of dollars in fines and restitution.

Nagle’s crimes, which involved using a small company as a “front” to pass DBE work through to non-DBE concerns, should serve as a warning that small government contractors can face penalties much more severe than a successful SBA size protest for serving as “pass-throughs” to other businesses.

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