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Aug
2016
5

SC Construction Scheme Defrauded Minorities, Women, Vets, the Disabled Out of $350M in Gov’t Work

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In South Carolina, seven people are facing federal fraud charges in connection with $350 million dollars’ worth of government construction contracts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court, that describes a scheme centering around the misuse of construction contracts administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Small Business Administration:

“These construction contracts were earmarked to be given to minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned and disabled person-owned construction companies,” according to a press release issued by acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake. “However, the Indictment alleges that the defendants hid the fact that construction companies were not controlled by minorities, veterans, women or the disabled in order to receive the lucrative contracts.”

[…] Two companies, Automatic Cash L.L.C. and EEC L.L.C., were also charged with major fraud against the United States, the release said. The maximum penalty the companies could receive for that charge is a fine of $10 million.

The defendants face stiff penalties if convicted:

Thomas Brock, 49, of Camden, Jerry Eddins, 66, of Texas, Harry White, 65, of Columbia, Cory Adams, 43, of Columbia, Tory Brock, 51, of Camden Alfonza McCutchen Jr., 39, of Irmo and Allison Sauls, 46, of New York were indicted on 18 counts of various forms of fraud stemming from $350 million worth of governmental construction contracts.

All the suspects are facing at least five years in prison and six-figure fines if convicted.

South Carolina is not well-known for a culture of worker protections. At 2.1% it boasts the lowest unionization rate in the country.

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