This is an update to a posting from last year where we reported a Federal Grand Jury indictment of a Government contractor who used companies with "straw owners" who qualified as disadvantaged individual or as a service-disabled veteran but who did not actually control the companies. See Large Contractor Awarded $200 Million in Contracts Set Aside for Small Businesses. Brian Ganos operated three construction companies with straw owners and was able to fraudulently obtain small business program certifications to with more than $260 million (up from the $200 million previously reported) in contracts to which they were not entitled.
Mr. Ganos was just sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison for his role in the scheme. The sentencing also involved fines, restitution, and supervised release after he serves prison time. See Wisconsin Man Sentenced to 78 Months for Fraud Scheme Involving Over $260 Million in Small Business Contracts.
The scheme went on for a long time - about 12 years. During the investigation, Mr. Ganos and his co-conspirators also actively engaged in efforts to conceal the scheme and obstruct investigators. Five of those co-conspirators, four individuals and one corporation, have also pleaded guilty to felony charges in connection with Ganos's scheme.
As a result of the scheme, Ganos undermined the small business programs and deprived honest small businesses of opportunities to become established. Additionally, Ganos used various means to launder proceeds of the fraud to enrich himself. He agreed to forfeiture of $2 million, a ski condo, an office building, two timeshares, and five classic cars.