Jax business settles claim it took contracts designated for disabled vets
Jacksonville, FL —
Profiting at the expense of disabled veterans- it’s the claim from the Department of Justice about a Jacksonville-based company.
WOKV has obtained a settlement agreement between North Florida Shipyards and the US over claims that Shipyards used a “front company” to win contracts from the Coast Guard that were designated for businesses owned and managed by disabled veterans. The Shipyards is paying $1 million to deal with the allegations while, for the most part, not admitting guilt.
Accomplice of Gaithersburg man in fraud scheme pleads guilty
Pair conspired to obtain government contracts
by Daniel Leaderman Staff writer
A California man has pleaded guilty for his role in a fraud scheme that also involved a Gaithersburg business owner.
Between 2007 and 2014, Wesley Burnett falsely told the federal government that his security company was owned by a minority, owned by a veteran disabled in the service, and was a “small disadvantaged business” to obtain about $534,000 in government contracts set aside for such businesses by the Small Business Administration, according to his plea agreement.
Letter from a VetLikeMe reader regarding VA inaction on
documented fraud in the VA/SDVOSB program:
“Eugene Ogozalek, a combat wounded Marine, Purple Heart recipient, verified SDVOSB owner, and licensed architect in Pennsylvania, has been told by a subcontractor working on the Wilkes-Barre, VA medical center in Pennsylvania, that the SDVOSB general contractor on site performs little or no work with his own forces and subs out all the work to non-SDVOSB contractors. In addition, the general contractor’s project manager has been caught watching porn during the day in the job site office, and is generally unresponsive to field questions referring those questions to other subs.
The general contractor, Hamilton-Pacific-Chamberlain of Maryland, is currently under investigation by the department of Veterans Affairs for violations of the SDVOSB regulations.
Mr. Ogozalek, as a CVE verified SDVOSB architect, has over the last several years, unsuccessfully attempted to investigate several other suspected Rent-A-Vet firms performing architectural and engineering work at the VA in Wilkes-Barre, including Bray Mooney, LLC, and Northeast Infrastructure, LLC.
Key information has been specifically redacted by the VA which would substantiate fraud as submitted on their federal 330 submissions. This redaction obfuscated the investigation to confirm the allegations of fraud by these companies.
As a result of his efforts to expose fraud, Mr. Ogozalek’s firm has not been short listed or considered for any additional work at the Wilkes-Barre VA, notwithstanding that his firm is located less than twenty miles from the Wilkes-Barre VA medical center. Mr. Ogozalek as a licensed architect for 38 years, is the only 100% owner of a duly registered architectural firm in Pennsylvania that is verified by the CVE as a SDVOSB company.
Mr. Ogozalek can only conclude that he has been blacklisted by the Wilkes-Barre VA for his attempts at exposing fraud in the SDVOSB architectural engineering services field.
In addition, Mr. Ogozalek is a patient at the facility, and continues medical treatment there for recurring symptoms associated with his combat injuries sustained over forty years ago as a U.S. Marine rifleman in Vietnam in 1968. Mr. Ogozalek was medically discharged from the Marines only one year after enlisting due to his serious injuries including a penetrating head wound caused by North Vietnamese artillery. Mr. Ogozalek served with India Company, Third Battalion / Fourth Marines, 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam, 1967-68.
Mr. Ogozalek’s father, Stanley, was a 100% disabled veteran who died as a patient in the Wilkes-Barre VA medical center in 1984.
Most recently, the VA on Wilkes-Barre has awarded a $600,000 design contract to a firm to design a new parking garage yet that firm has no registration as an architectural or engineering firm in Pennsylvania. Federal regulations mandate that any firm awarded architectural or engineering services is required to be “permitted by law to practice architectural or engineering services “.
Mr. Ogozalek has filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Architectural board against this firm for practicing architecture without a license and has requested a cease and desist order against this firm.
Needless to say, Mr. Ogozalek is completely frustrated with the blind eye being turned to violations of state and SDVOSB regulations by the Wilkes-Barre VA. He has asked us to print these frustrations to bring them to light and is ready to substantiate all these claims if necessary directly with the VA in Washington, DC.”
Open Letter (e-mail) to VA about Blatant Fraud
SUBJECT: “Fraudulent company gets another 1.5 million dollar contract while a half dozen protests await SBA, GAO and VA process.”
VA has just awarded another $1,455,780.00 MILLION DOLLAR contract to G & C Fab-Con for concrete grave liners. As I would imagine, everyone within the VA knows G&C Fab-Con has somewhere in the area of a dozen protests pending before the VA, SBA and GAO and that’s just what I am aware of with my limited resources. How is it possible that VA can award another 1.5m to this company with all the “issues” so many different companies, individuals, service organization and others have brought to VA attention about this company alone? THIS IS UTTER MADNESS.
Last month alone VA awarded over 50 million in contracts to this FRAUD, Rent-A-Vet and SHELL company. I must point out that this 50 million dollars is just the money’s and contract I can find, again with my limited means and public records. I am aware that every single one of those contracts are under protest. How is it possible that VA leadership has failed to at least put a hold on any future contracts until all those pending legal matters are resolved? That would be common sense would it NOT? What message are you all sending, again, to those who are following the laws, procedures and doing all the right things to comply with the SDVOSB program when VA leadership awards ANOTHER couple million to a company with so many massive issues to address???
What message are you sending to all VA employees here? Are you saying “…it’s okay to award regardless of very serious protests pending…”? Doesn’t it stand to reason that anyone should stand up and say “add this award to the list of protests” or are you all just assuming it’s okay because it’s done on the 5 year multi-award contract this FRAUD has with VA? Are you guessing no one can protest this one or is the VA simply trying to give this FRAUD as many contracts as possible before they are removed from CVE and handed over to the VA Office of the Inspector General?
Okay how about if VA gave the Veteran community a straight and legitimate answer here. Why are you awarding millions to a company under so much “review” by so many federal agencies? Is anyone really in-charge here, is anyone really watching what’s happening here…does anyone at VA really care? This is just so unbelievable that one must consider WHY it continues to happen. Is the VA system so screwed up and broken regardless of the massive backlash toward this one company? One would think VA would open its eyes but that’s just not the case and NOTHING has or will change at VA until and unless the entire broken system is completely dismantled.
Lastly, if this were just a single time it happened that would be one thing but it goes on every single day. Let’s use Legion Construction as a prime example. This company is going to trial for stealing over 180 million by defrauding Disabled Veterans as a Rent-A-Vet and scamming the system set-up to help Veterans…VA continues to hand them millions in contracts and calls it “MODS” or extra work or change orders. That’s the same as giving a sex offender awaiting trial a job at a day care! And VA leadership lets it happen day after day and nothing changes. This is so shameful and embarrassing that I can’t find the words to truly explain the unimaginable frustration and loss of hope the mass of Veterans feel. If not for the proof no one would believe this happens every single day. If nothing else this is morally wrong.
I am begging you on behalf of so many Veterans/Disabled Veterans…stop this insanity.
Twenty-two Veterans commit suicide every day…we need real leadership and legitimate action and we need it now.
Douglas P Fleming, LLC
Service Disabled-Veteran Owned-Small Business
Expressed opinions do not necessarily represent those of VetLikeMe