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Ex-company owner receives 7-year prison sentence

A top administrator with a Pennsylvania construction company received a seven-year prison sentence for submitting false documentation to a federal program to promote minority business owners. In addition, the court sanctioned him more than $27,000 in what prosecutors believe is the largest fraud case of its type related to the federal minority program. He was previously convicted of charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering for incidents between 1993 and 2008 after he reportedly claimed that a firm owned by minorities was fraudulently used to obtain a $36 million contract for Pennsylvania construction work.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General and the Secretary of Transportation were involved in the investigation of the case. A top agent with the OIG explained that they take the flagrant violation of the laws seriously as he expressed his satisfaction with the sentence.

This administrator was the former CEO, president and a part-owner of the company until it was sold. Four other top administrators also entered guilty pleas. Two of the men received the same sentences that were just shy of three years in prison along with two years of community release and $119 million in restitution. A third man was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of community supervision and $119 million in restitution. The fourth man was awaiting sentencing in July.

Federal fraud cases generally include prison terms and notoriously high fines. A criminal defense lawyer might be able to minimize the punitive sanctions a client faces in federal fraud cases.

Source: WITF, "Ex-owner of midstate company sentenced in contracting fraud case", June 30, 2014

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