A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia returned an indictment charging military contractors with an alleged fraud scheme involving government contracts totaling over $7 million.
The three-count indictment charges Envistacom LLC, its President Alan Carson and a vice president Valerie Hayes, and the owner of another company, Philip Flores, each with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of major fraud.
“Collusion and fraud undermine competition in the procurement process to the detriment of U.S. taxpayers,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Investigating and prosecuting criminal activity remains a top priority for the Department of Justice and all members of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force.”
“The United States relies upon its contractors to be honest and forthright in their dealings,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia. “When they allegedly provide false information to obtain contracts, they harm the American taxpayer and the integrity of the system. We will diligently work to bring such companies and their executives to justice.”
“The indictment of these individuals demonstrates the resolve and dedication of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and our investigative partners in protecting the integrity of the Department of Defense contracting system,” said Special Agent in Charge Cynthia A. Bruce, Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Southeast Field Office. “Contractors who circumvent the contracting process for their own personal gain will be thoroughly investigated and held accountable for their fraudulent actions.”
“Such alleged activity by government contractors who provide services to the Army will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge L. Scott Moreland of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division’s (Army CID) Major Procurement Fraud Field Office. “We will continue to investigate allegations of this nature and do everything in our power to see that persons responsible are held accountable and brought to justice.”
According to the indictment, from at least September 2014 through at least November 2016, the defendants and others conspired by preparing and procuring purported “competitive quotes” from other companies, which were sham quotes that were intentionally higher than the proposal prices and/or price quotes from Envistacom and Flores’ company to ensure the sole-source awards. The conspirators also concealed that the defendants prepared the independent government cost estimates and other procurement documents for the award of these contracts and made false statements, representations and material omissions to federal government contracting officials regarding these estimates being legitimate independent cost estimates and the sham quotes being “competitive.”
The maximum penalty for conspiracy to defraud the United States is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum penalty for major fraud is 10 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, or, if the gross loss to the government or the gross gain to a defendant is $500,000 or greater, a fine of $5 million. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other relevant factors.
The charges are the result of a federal investigation conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal II Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Army CID and DCIS.
Anyone with information in connection with this investigation should contact the Antitrust Division’s Complaint Center at 888-647-3258, or visit http://www.justice.gov/atr/report-violations.
In November 2019, the Department of Justice created the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF), a joint law enforcement effort to combat antitrust crimes and related fraudulent schemes that impact government procurement, grant, and program funding at all levels of government – federal, state and local. To learn more about the PCSF, or to report information on market allocation, price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct related to defense-related spending, go to https://www.justice.gov/procurement-collusion-strike-force.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.