A federal jury in the Northern District of Georgia convicted three military contractors today on one count of conspiring to defraud the United States and two counts of major fraud.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, former Envistacom LLC President and co-founder Alan Carson, former Envistacom Vice President Valerie Hayes, and the owner of another company, Philip Flores, conspired to defraud the United States at least from September 2014 through November 2016, by preparing and procuring sham quotes for government contracts totaling over $7.8 million. Carson, Hayes, and Flores also fraudulently prepared “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.”
“Today, a jury returned a verdict to hold accountable these defendants who defrauded the federal government,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “The Division and its law enforcement partners will continue to prosecute individuals who undermine the integrity of government procurement systems at American taxpayers’ expense.”
“Contractors are an integral part of our well-functioning government, and we expect them to be honest and forthright,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia. “The evidence at trial and the jury’s verdict show that these defendants placed their own benefit above honest dealing with the government.”
“The convictions of these individuals ensure the integrity of the contracting system that supports our nation’s warfighters,” said Special Agent in Charge Darrin K. Jones of the Southeast Field Office of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS). “Companies that circumvent the contracting process for personal gain will be thoroughly investigated and held accountable for their fraudulent actions.”
“As this case demonstrates, those who attempt to defraud the government will be held accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Scott Moreland of the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division (Army CID) Major Procurement Fraud Field Office. “Army CID and our law enforcement partners will vigorously enforce laws that protect our government from fraud.”
Carson, Hayes, and Flores were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States and major fraud. The individuals each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain or loss, for conspiracy to defraud the United States. 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 Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal II Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Army CID, and DCIS investigated the case.
Trial Attorney Brittany E. McClure of the Antitrust Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Huber for the Northern District of Georgia prosecuted the case.
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, 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. For more information, visit https://www.justice.gov/procurement-collusion-strike-force.