On this Veterans Day, many people are taking time to thank those who have served our country. Unfortunately, many veterans are facing financial difficulties because they sometimes find it difficult to secure an income after they finish their deployment. To help mitigate this problem, the federal government sets aside certain contracting opportunities specifically for businesses that are owned and controlled by disabled veterans.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that a Georgia man has been indicted on fraud charges because his contracting business was allegedly misrepresenting itself as a business controlled by a disabled veteran. The suspect did apparently enter into an agreement with a disabled veteran to start the venture, but authorities allege that the veteran did not control and own at least 51 percent of the business, as required by law.
Compliance with special federal contracting requirements can be a complicated process. As businesses grow and change, a formerly compliant organization may suddenly find themselves accused of violating the rules. According to the news article, in this matter, the disabled veteran did receive payment from the contracting business, but authorities allege that his role in the business was insufficient to qualify for the special contracts.
For a business making decisions about how to arrange its ownership structure, the potential of federal fraud charges may not be a large part of the equation. But once that business enters into contracts with the federal government, it is likely to undergo an increased level of scrutiny. When facing federal fraud charges related to your business, it is important to work with an attorney who has experience with the unique issues that can arise when defending federal criminal charges.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Man accused of defrauding disabled vets,” Steve Visser, Nov. 10, 2011