Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Man Falsely Claiming Disabled Veteran Status Goes to Prison

A few years back, companies were able to claim small business or one of the disadvantaged social groups based nothing more than their self-assertion that they qualified. Of course this led to all kinds of fraud involving contract awards to companies who were not entitled to receive contracts reserved for disadvantaged firms. We've chronicled many such cases in these pages. A few years back, the Government began requiring companies to prove their small or disadvantaged status, undertaking "audits" to validate contractor claims. The Government even allows companies to challenge certain assertions, including size, of their competitors - something that has led to many disqualifications.

Even though the number of awards made to contractors under false pretense has diminished, there are still companies out there that try to game the system - perhaps thinking that the potential rewards outweigh the risks. Sometimes, the consequences lead to prison time however, as in the case of Mr. Page.

Mr. Page used a stolen name and social security number of a service disabled veteran to create a fraudulent SDVOSB (Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business) for the purpose of obtaining contracts that were set-aside for SDVOSB firms. The stolen identity happened to be Mr. Page's father who was indeed a disabled veteran but Mr. Page (the junior) was not. Before his fraud was uncovered, he had received 14 contracts valued at $2.7 million.

Mr. Page was found guilty by a jury and earlier this month was sentenced to 69 months in Federal Prison. Bet he's not feeling so crafty right now.

You can read the Justice Department's write-up of the case here.

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