According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General, potential fraudsters have obtained $250 million in federal funds intended to help businesses survive the impact of COVID-19.
The Inspector General also identified $45.6 million in potentially duplicate payments and warned that with well over $220 billion left to give out, rapid changes were needed.
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 former owner and officer of a large business has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges stemming from an illegal pass-through scheme.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Thomas Harper not only conspired to evade limitations on subcontracting, but obstructed justice during a SBA size protest investigation of his company’s relationship with a putative small businesses.